Frequently Asked Questions

Daniels' patented Sharpsmart system has a number of unique aspects that set it apart from other sharps container systems, regardless of whether those systems use disposable or reusable containers.

The following are three of the most common questions that we are asked about the Sharpsmart system:

  1. What should I be disposing to the Daniels Sharpsmart containers?
  2. What should I NOT be disposing to the Daniels Sharpsmart containers?
  3. Can we be sure that Sharpsmart collectors are completely decontaminated (including prions) and there is no risk of cross infection between institutions?
  4. How safe is the Sharpsmart system from people being able to put their hands in the container and pull out sharps?
  5. Why are Sharpsmart containers not enclosed with a wall cabinet?
Q. What should I be disposing to the Daniels Sharpsmart containers?
Daniels Sharpsmart containers should ONLY be used to collect sharps waste.
Sharps waste includes:
  • Syringes with needles attached (No attempt should be taken to remove the needle from the barrel of the syringe)
  • All needles, used or unused (i.e. hypodermic, HPLC, GC, etc.)
  • Scalpels and razors contaminated with infectious/biohazardous material[1]
  • Blood vials
  • Glass or Plastic micropipette tips , Pasteur pipettes , "bulb" pipettes and serological pipettes contaminated with infectious/biohazardous material[1]
  • Glass slides, cover slips, broken glass tubes and other laboratory glassware contaminated with infectious/biohazardous material [1]
  • Broken plasticware contaminated with infectious/biohazardous material[1]
  • Other sharp objects capable of puncturing or piercing the skin that has been contaminated with infectious/biohazardous material [1]
Q. What should I NOT be disposing to the Daniels Sharpsmart containers?
Daniels Sharpsmart containers should ONLY be used to collect sharps waste (please see a description of sharps waste above.)
Regulated Medical Waste that does not include sharps waste must be disposed of to the Red Biohazard Bag/Box. (View the Sharps and Regulated Medical Waste Segregation Guide)
Regulated Medical Waste includes:
  • Plastic and unbroken glass Petri dishes contaminated with infectious/biohazardous material[1]
  • Plastic tubes, syringes (no needle attached ), flasks, plates contaminated with infectious/biohazardous material[1]
  • Gloves, bench paper and towels, disposable gowns contaminated with infectious/biohazardous material[1]
  • Plastic micropipette tips and pipettes[2] contaminated with infectious/biohazardous material[1]
  • Cultures and stocks of infectious agents and associated biologicals that cannot be treated with disinfectants and rendered safe for drain disposal
  • Human pathological wastes
  • Human blood and blood products, items saturated with human blood

Infectious agents, biological toxins, human blood and body fluids, infected animals and contaminated bedding, all human and animal cell cultures, any substance, material or agent that poses a significant risk of transmitting infection and/or endangering human health.

NOTE: non-infectious plastic micropipette tips and pipettes (Pasteur pipettes, "bulb" pipettes and serological pipettes) may be disposed of to the regular trash (suggested to first place in a sturdy outer box/container prior to being disposed of to the trash to protect against injury); however, sharps containers or RMW boxes may be used if they provide a more viable option for your particular lab space (contact EH&S for more information at (631) 632-6410)

Q. Can we be sure that Sharpsmart collectors are completely decontaminated (including prions) and there is no risk of cross infection between institutions?
Several decades of commercial use, along with Guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control* confirm the innocuousness of sharps containers in disease transmission risk.
Similarly, the unlikely presence of prions in a sharps collector is of no risk to students, faculty or staff. However, Sharpsmart procedures assume pathogens are present and the wash process has undergone stringent testing and validation by independent microbiologists and/or government health agencies in six countries. Furthermore, validation procedures show the Washsmart process removes all protein.
Sharpsmarts and associated reusable sharps collectors have been used for over 15 years in more than 500 hospitals/learning centers worldwide, without a single suggestion of cross-infection.
* Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Health-Care Facilities. Recommendations of CDC and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC), 2003. U.S. Dept HHS, (CDC) Atlanta, GA.
Q. How safe is the Sharpsmart system from people being able to put their hands in the container and pull out sharps? An international study has proven Sharpsmart to be a safer containment system with no reported incidents of hand-entry and retrieval of sharps and not a single reported injury due to container penetration.
Sharpsmart containers are designed to be open at all times until closed for disposal. The patented counter-balanced tray together with adherence to recommended mounting heights ensure sharps are not accessible once discarded.
Q. Why are Sharpsmart containers not enclosed with a wall cabinet?
Sharpsmart containers were specifically designed to be cabinet-free so as to minimize wall space and maximize container volume. With the largest safety aperture of any sharps container, one-handed disposal of sharps is easy and there is no secondary cabinet that misdirected sharps can fall into. Daniels' Human Factor Analysis studies ensured a product design that is based on clinical staff needs and behavior.
Unlike point-first, vertical-drop sharps containers, Sharpsmart's counterbalanced tray prevents overfilling, inhibits entry of small hands and inhibits sharps removal. The unique, patented counterbalanced tray was engineered with low-weight sensitivity enabling a 0.5ml insulin syringe to be deposited automatically. The large safety aperture virtually eliminates deposit injuries, which is the most common cause of container-associated injuries among sharps containers with narrow apertures.

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