All Points Medical Waste Blog
Are Expired Inhalers Medical Waste?
Steps to Safe Disposal
For millions of people around the world, inhalers are a necessity. Those who have asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and other respiratory conditions use them on a daily basis. And although these medications/devices may seem innocuous, it’s important that patients understand that many types of inhalers are considered hazardous medical waste and therefore cannot be thrown away in the regular trash. Improper disposal can lead to risks to the environment, wildlife and the community.
Why are Expired Inhalers Hazardous?
Inhalers contain a variety of ingredients including albuterol and corticosteroids that can degrade over time, causing them to become less effective or even harmful. Exposure to these medications after they expire or to people who do not need them can cause serious health risks.
Risks to the Environment
When inhalers end up in landfills, the residual chemicals can leach into the soil and water, posing a threat to the environment, wildlife and human beings.
How to Dispose of Inhalers Safely
Safe disposal of expired inhalers is crucial. Here are a few of the recommended disposal methods:
Pharmacy Medication Take Back
Many pharmacies offer medication take-back programs for expired and unneeded medications. Check with your local pharmacy or your physician’s office to find out if this service is available to you.
Manufacturer Mail-Back Programs
Some medication manufacturers provide programs that allow you to mail back your expired inhaler for safe disposal. The manufacturer’s name should be listed on the label of the inhaler.
Inhalers, just like any other medication, require a specific disposal method to ensure safety to people, animals and the environment. Be sure to follow these steps when it’s time to dispose of expired inhalers.
All Points Medical Waste offers full service medical waste disposal to healthcare facilities throughout Florida. We are a family-owned and operated company and can assist you with any medical waste disposal needs. To learn more, complete the form on this page or give us a call today.