Don’t Flush Medications Down Drains
Never flush medications down sinks or toilets. Medications include prescription drugs such as hormones, antidepressants, and antibiotics; over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers, cold/flu remedies, and antiseptics; and veterinary medicines. Wastewater treatment plants are not designed to filter or neutralize drug contents that end up in the sewer system. As a result, drugs can pass through wastewater treatment systems and contaminate receiving waters. A federal government study found that 80 percent of streams sampled contained drugs, including steroids and reproductive hormones, with interfere with growth and reproduction in aquatic wildlife such as fish and frogs. The levels of risk to human health and the environment are being studied, but drug contents have the potential to harm both.
Don’t Trash or Dump Disposable Sharps
Never place disposable sharps in a recycling or garbage container. Disposable sharps include hypodermic syringes, lancets, and other medical devices used for self-inject or blood tests. Improper dumping and incorrect disposal of sharps put recycling and garbage and sewage workers, janitors, housekeepers and household members at risk of needle-stick injury and infection.