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The Chatham-Kent Police Service have issued a reminder on how to safely dispose of needles.

Police officials say finding needles in community areas such as parks is a health and safety concern for everyone.

“Used syringes should be disposed of properly in order to protect others from injury and infections like Hepatitis C and HIV,” police officials stated in a press release.

“Information and prevention is the best way to stay safe.”

Here are the steps for how to safely dispose of needles:

Step 1: Scan the area for any possible dangers (traffic, tripping hazards).

Step 2: Put on gloves. Gloves protect you from any body fluids in or on the needle, but do not protect against cuts or puncture injuries. If you do not have gloves, you may use plastic bags that you have in your house to cover your hands. The plastic bags will act as a barrier from any fluids just as gloves will.

Step 3: Bring a puncture-proof container with a lid to where you found the needle. Sharps containers work best but you can also use a water bottle, pop bottle, coffee can, laundry jug, etc.

Step 4: Put the container on flat ground beside the needle. Never hold the container while picking up the needle at the same time.

Step 5: Use the tongs to pick up the needle. Pick up the needle by the plastic end with the sharp end facing down. Hold it away from your body and others. If there are multiple needles pick them up one at a time.

Step 6: Place the needle in the container sharp end first. Never try to put the cap back on the needle or break the tip off.

Step 7: With your gloves or plastic bags still on your hands, place the lid on the container. Be sure the container is not too full and nothing is coming out of the opening. Only fill the container ¾ full before getting a new one. Wipe the end of the tongs with an alcohol swab to be used again.

Step 8: Remove gloves and wash your hands with hand sanitizer or warm water and soap.

Step 9: Bring the container in for proper disposal at any of these locations:

Chatham:

Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit, 177 King Street E. (Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)

AIDS Support Chatham-Kent, 67 Adelaide Street S. (Tuesday – Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)

Wallaceburg:

Chatham-Kent Community Health Centre, 808 Dufferin Avenue (every Tuesday from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.)

Ridgetown:

Chatham-Kent Municipal Services, 45 Main Street E. (2nd & 4th Tuesday of every month from 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.)

Tilbury:

Tilbury District Family Health Team, 22 Mill Street W. (2nd & 4th Wednesday of every month from 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.)

Blenheim:

Blenheim Youth Centre, 78 Marlborough Street S. (1st & 3rd Thursday of every month from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.)

For more information on public health in relation to needle disposal within Chatham-Kent, click here.

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