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When we make a decision about disposing of pharmaceuticals of any kind, it is time for hesitation whether to flush prescriptions down the toilet or sink. It’s obvious that doing such things may raise the risk of contaminating ground water. However it is also not desirable to throw the said pharmaceuticals in the trash. Landfills are already overflowing with hazardous items, and there is a possibility for them to end up in the wrong hands. The EPA and other governing agencies have been sparing their efforts over the past couple of years putting together policies to protect our environment and the human race alike.

What does this mean for your business or facility? Check out the following frequently asked questions about pharmaceutical waste disposal and waste management if you want to find out more about how you can assist your place of work and your environment.

Are All Pharmaceuticals Considered Hazardous Waste?

Of course, not all pharmaceutical waste is considered a hazardous waste depending on where you live. Although even if a particular type of pharmaceutical waste may not be considered “hazardous”, pharmaceuticals can still be harmful. Because of this reason it is very important to dispose of, transport, and eliminate pharmaceutical waste properly. Different types of chemicals combinations are included in pharmaceuticals. and in case of improper disposing of multiple pharmaceuticals major damage can be caused.

Can Pharmaceutical Waste Be Red Bagged ?

The simple answer is “no.” Like we talked about it above, pharmaceutical waste often contains many different chemicals and chemical combinations; therefore, it is considered a hazardous chemical waste. Red bagged waste contains bio-hazardous waste and is most commonly placed in an autoclave, microwave, or incinerator until the waste is considered harmless.

Hazardous chemical waste, such as pharmaceutical waste, must be disposed of by placing the waste into an incinerator which is brought to a temperature that is so high that it can literally break down the chemical composition of the waste.

Can All Pharmaceutical Waste Be Placed In The Same Disposal Container?

Pharmaceutical waste can have different forms, among them liquid, powder, and solids. As far as we know from the subject of chemistry class, when we join certain chemicals together, chemical reactions occur. So it is very important that certain pharmaceuticals be divided in separate containers depending on certain characteristics of ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, and toxicity.

Why Is Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal Important?

There are a lot of reasons why it is important and necessary to dispose the pharmaceutical waste. Several main top reasons for proper disposal are: the health of workers and patients, the reputation of facility, and the facility’s bottom dollar due to increased fines being imposed if hazardous waste is not disposed of properly.

Glycon realizes the policies and regulations that surround medical waste removal and medical waste disposal. Let Glycon take the efforts and stress out of managing your facility’s medical waste flow.

Glycon offers safe, compliant, and affordable solutions customized to fit your requirements. Give Glycon a call today at (844) 494-8222

How to Properly Dispose of Pharmaceutical Waste

Properly Disposing of Pharmaceutical Waste.

Nowadays pharmaceuticals are more widespread and  than ever, with 7 out of 10 Americans taking one or more prescription drugs—including antibiotics, antidepressants and pain-blocking uploads, according to researchers from the Mayo Clinic and Olmsted Medical Center.

As each year such massive quantities of prescription pills being generated, medical facilities, pharmacies and patients are facing the problem of what to do with all their leftover and expired medications.

If pharmaceutical waste is disposed in a wrong way it can cause environmental damage and pose a threat to human and animal health.

If it is found out that or businesses illegally dump their pharmaceuticals, it can also mean costly lawsuits and a tainted public image.

Legal trouble for three big pharmacy chains.

In 2012, the drugstore chain Walgreens suffered damage amounting  more than $16.5 million for “illegally dumping pharmaceutical and biohazardous wastes throughout California.” As part of the lawsuit settlement, Walgreens agreed to “fund environmental projects that will further consumer protection and environmental enforcement” in the state.

The world known chain CVS “agreed to pay $13.75 million in a settlement to resolve claims that it violated environmental law over a seven-year period by improperly storing and disposing of pharmaceutical and medical waste  in the  same year and also in California.” Thee consent between them also required the company comply with California’s rules on  properly disposing pharmaceutical waste.

And in 2013, the drugstore chain Rite-Aid paid $12.3 million dollars after they were charged with dumping “toxic, corrosive or ignitable materials ranging from pharmaceuticals and pesticides to paint, aerosols, and bleach in local landfills over the course of six and a half years.” They were assigned with instituting an environmental protection training program and cooperating  with medical waste disposal companies which are correspondent with  state medical waste regulations for safe collection and disposal of their pharmaceutical waste.

Because of this  major pharmacies went beyond the hefty fines—it was also a public hit to their brand’s image. If you are a company in the business of preventing and treating disease, being caught improperly dumping pharmaceutical waste that threatens environmental and human health does not make for positive publicity.

Safe drug disposal alternatives.

There are many proves which assumes that prescription drugs present  a significant danger to the environment – but pharmacists, other medical professionals and even patients themselves can play a role in prevention.

A long-term solution to the proliferation of so many prescription drugs is promoting better public health programs and advising patients of prescription-free alternatives to wellness that reduce the need to produce a great number of prescription drugs in the first place.

The next best solution is learning and following your state’s regulations for safe disposal of your pharmaceutical waste. Check out tools for safe pharmaceutical waste disposal for health systems here if you are a hospital, pharmacy or other medical facility,

The FDA advises individual patients with unused and expired medications to first consult the medication bottle for instructions on proper disposal. Although some medications may be safely flushed down a toilet or sink, many others should never be flushed—so patients should be told to carefully read the instructions on their medication before taking action. Certain other drugs can be thrown in with the household trash, but they should be mixed with undesirable garbage or sealed in a container so that animals or humans, who seek unused drugs, illegally won’t pull them out of the trash. Again, it is best for patients to first consult the instructions that come with their particular prescription. Individuals can also research local programs that allow them to drop off their medications at a central location for proper disposal. Local law enforcement agencies can assist people who are interested in locating these programs. The DEA also offers mail-back programs and drop-boxes for unused drugs. Individual consumers can get more guidelines on the safe disposal of pharmaceuticals here.

Hospitals and medical facilities can also get help from waste management companies like Glycon. Glycon is familiar with the regulations in every state we serve and can keep your business compliant with regulations for pharmaceutical waste. Give us a call today for a free quote.

Which Pharmaceutical Drugs are Considered Hazardous Waste?

A great number of prescription drugs are allocated throughout the U.S every day. Many go unused by the prescribed patients who are left to wonder how to dispose of these pharmaceuticals in a right way. Wrong disposal of pharmaceutical drugs classified as dangerous can cause negative impacts on the environment and even the health of individuals around them. In accordance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, there exist nearly 30 commercial chemical products. They are listed on the dangerous waste lists that are used pharmaceutic ally. However, a lot of people are unaware of which pharmaceuticals contain these chemical compositions.

A hard waste is considered hazardous waste if it meets a listing or exhibits a characteristic described in title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations part 261. The best way to describe it is to see if the waste exhibits one or more of these four characteristics: ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity or toxicity. When the time of a pharmaceutical drug expired and you throw them away. You should check to see if it contains a hazardous chemical that needs specific methods of disposal.

Visit Washington Department of Ecology Website to see the full article on which pharmaceutical drugs constitute as dangerous waste

The Department of Ecology website gives you an overview of which pharmaceuticals constitute as hazardous waste, together a list of generic prescription names you can search.


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To get free quotes on regulated waste disposal, fill out the form to the right, or give us a call at (844) 494-8222.

What Should I Do With My Old Prescription Drugs?

Households, healthcare facilities, and pharmacies like many others acquire a stock of medications. These medications lose their validity or become undesired over time, anyway simply throwing old prescription drugs in the trash may bring to severe consequences.

Prescriptions that are not safely disposed of can do harm to individuals who may by chance or intentionally consume them, and can release toxic chemicals into the environment if they make it to the landfill. Glycon Medical Waste offers safe pharmaceutical waste disposal services for your convenience so your medications aren’t  at risk of being dangerous to individuals or the environment.

Now we will look at how improper disposal of old prescription drugs can have harmful repercussions and why some disposal practices may not be sufficient enough to prevent these negative consequences.

How Are Old Prescription Drugs Harmful to Others?

Therefore, medications are safe when taken as prescribed by a doctor, they may cause serious damage to an individual when they fall into the wrong hands. Those people who have a weakened immune system – infants, the elderly, and pets – and those who intentionally abuse prescription drugs all may face serious health risks when these medications are accidentally or intentionally consumed.

Kids and young children are curious and they are eager to know and examine everything, and may put anything into their mouths that they may think is a candy. This is very dangerous because they intentionally may consume any toxic pharmaceuticals simply because they don’t know better. A report by SafeKids.org found in 2012 that approximately 64,000 emergency medical visits involved a child who had been exposed to medicine. That means one incident every eight minutes.

The same may happen to pets, as most animals pick up anything they think is food. Older individuals may become confused and mistakenly take the wrong medications, and intentional abusers can easily cause life-threatening harm to themselves and others

How Is the Environment Impacted?

Medications may pose a threat to the environment as they are chemical substances. Based on the Associated Press in 2008, pharmaceutical drugs were present in the drinking water of approximately 41 million Americans.

For the same reasons you wouldn’t throw away old batteries or paint thinner, you shouldn’t throw away prescription medications. These chemicals leach into the environment and can have significant implications on present and future generations.

How Should I Dispose of My Old Prescription Drugs?

People dispose medications in many ways, but only a few ways are considered to be proper. Here are a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to getting rid of your old medications:

Don’t combine your medications with an “undesirable” material—like kitty litter or coffee grounds— before throwing them away. You can’t know by whom these medications may be found and consumed accidentally or otherwise, and this doesn’t protect the environment from poisoning either.

Don’t crush your medications to render them useless before throwing them away. Many medications are designed to dissolve slowly into your body so as to avoid overdosing. When you crush medications, you risk exposing yourself and the environment to inhaling the dust of these medications, thus consuming a higher dosage than intended.

If your crush medications you may cause crumbs and chunks of medications to spread about the area as well, which will make it easy for children and pets to picked them up. This also does nothing to prevent these chemicals from entering the environment.

Don’t throw away your medications down the toilet. If you do so it will see those chemicals just to the water treatment center, where these drugs are not always filtered out before re-entering the drinking supply.

There exists a restricted amount of information regarding how drugs in our drinking water impacts public health. Unless there is an emergency situation and you must dispose of medications immediately, it is much more beneficial to simply store your medications in a locked, secluded container and dispose of them properly.

Do store your medications in a securely locked, well-hidden container that is out-of-reach until you can dispose of them properly. Get used to collecting your medications for large-volume disposals rather than throwing them away on a pill-by-pill basis, and stay alert in protecting them from falling into the wrong hands.

Do take your tablets to U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency take-back events. DEA authorities will handle your prescription medication disposal for you, but these events don’t take place regularly and may not be available in all areas.

Get Free, No-Obligation Quotes on Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal Today

Glycon Medical Waste Disposal Service can help you process a program that prevent your prescriptions of the wrong hands.

7 Things You Need To Know About Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal

Everyone knows that pharmaceutical waste when disposed of poorly, can have catastrophic effect on the environment and also on the life quality of people. Thus the EPA has been handing out such huge fines ( as high as $10,000 to $25,000 per violation a day, besides  to jail them) to facilities and corporations that do not manage to follow the disposal guidelines established by the law. The following things you have to know in order to avoid risking either the environment or  your own company.

Label your hazardous waste properly

Be convinced  that all of the pharmaceutical waste created by your company islabeled as hazardous, in such a way that the label is seen from wherever the container is viewed from.

For doing this, you need to determine the classification of dangerous waste. Characteristic or D-List waste has one of the following characteristics: reactivity, toxicity, ignitability or corrosively. Toxic or U-List waste contains most chemotherapy drugs. Acutely hazardous or P-List waste is the most hazardous.

Treat your P-List waste appropriately

P-List waste must be treated with all the respect it deserves, given how highly toxic it is. It must  be collected separately in case if it is  mixed with other materials, all of that waste is automatically considered  to be P-List,too. On the day  the waste container enters the storage area has to be visibly labeled. Companies also are obliged  to prove how much P-List waste they send  every month to an inspector.

Conduct weekly inspections of

An inspection needs to be held every week of all hazardous waste containers so as  to ensure that the  contents have not been compromised.

Don’t treat  biohazardous & pharmaceutical waste the same way

Biohazardous waste must be  sterilizedin order to abolish  the risk of infection and then disposed of in a landfill. Pharmaceutical waste cannot be disposed of in the same way, because it will disappear seeping into the water supply or surface water from a landfill. This kind of waste must  be detached and incinerated instead.

Never ever dump hazardous waste into the sewer

In case of violation of  this rule by anyone  with receiving  a citation from the EPA, and if the act was done deliberately, it could translate into jail time.

Train your employees well

It is important to train employees who deal  with pharmaceutical waste on proper disposal technique. All employees need to understand disposal and transportation methods. Employees who have  waste responsibilities related to their function, like nurses, physicians or lab technicians need to be given training  corresponding  to their duties. All training sessions must be completely documented.

Be prepared for emergencies

In case of emergency situations such as a chemical spill, it is important  that all the facilities within the building have a comprehensive emergency response plan to contain the immediate danger.

Glycon Medical Waste offers full service waste management specifically planned to serve the California Healthcare Industry. All waste generators whether large or small, are able to take part in waste management programs provided by Glycon Medical Waste. Services provided by Glycon Medical Waste are adjusted to bring specially-made waste disposal services to facilities providing the highest level of customer service and regulatory compliance.
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