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Alprazolam pills

Mylan Pharmaceuticals initiates voluntary recall of one lot of Alprazolam

Mylan Pharmaceuticals initiates voluntary nationwide recall of one lot of Alprazolam tablets, USP C-IV 0.5 mg, due to the potential of foreign substance.

Summary

Company Announcement Date:
FDA Publish Date:
Product Type:
Drugs
Reason for Announcement:
Potential presence of foreign substance
Company Name:
Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Brand Name:
Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Product Description:
Alprazolam Tablets, USP C-IV 0.5 mg

Company Announcement

Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. is conducting a voluntary nationwide recall of one lot (see table below) of Alprazolam Tablets, USP C-IV 0.5 mg, to the consumer/user level. This lot is being recalled due to the potential presence of foreign substance. Clinical impact from the foreign material, if present, is expected to be rare, but the remote risk of infection to a patient cannot be ruled out. To date, Mylan has not received any adverse events related to this batch.

Alprazolam Tablets are indicated for the management of anxiety disorder, the short-term relief of symptoms of anxiety, and the treatment of panic disorder, with or without agoraphobia.

Alprazolam Tablets, USP C-IV 0.5 mg, are packaged in bottles of 500. This batch was distributed in the U.S. between July 2019 and August 2019. The recalled lot is as follows:

NDC

Product Description and Strength

Size

Lot number

Expiry

0378-4003-05 Alprazolam Tablets, USP C-IV 0.5 mg Bottles of 500 8082708 September 2020

Mylan has notified its distributors and customers by letter and is arranging for return of all recalled products. Following are actions for wholesalers, retailers and consumers:

  • Wholesaler: Immediately examine your inventory, quarantine and discontinue distribution of these lots. In addition, if you have further distributed the product, please identify your retail level customers and provide a list of customers via Microsoft excel file to mylan5924@stericycle.com within 10 business days. Stericycle will notify your retail level customers that received the affected batches.
  • Retailer: Immediately examine your inventory, quarantine and discontinue distribution of these lots. Additionally, if you have further distributed the product, please identify the consumer and notify them immediately of this product recall. The consumer should be instructed to contact Stericycle at 1-888-843-0255 for the documentation packet to return the product.
  • Consumer: Please contact Stericycle at 1-888-843-0255 for the documentation packet to return product to Stericycle.

Consumers with questions can contact Mylan Customer Relations at 800.796.9526 or customer.service@mylan.com, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST. Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to using this drug product.
Adverse reactions or quality problems experienced with the use of this product may be reported to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail or by fax.

  • Complete and submit the report Online
  • Regular Mail or Fax: Download form or call 1- 800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

This recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

 

We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

Check out our services and other great resources in the links below.

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Learn How To Properly Manage & Dispose of Household Medical Waste

a stamped envelope

USPS Hazardous, Restricted and Perishable Mail.

Hazardous, Restricted and Perishable Mail

When we think of a mailman having a bad day, we usually imagine an aggressive dog at one of the delivery addresses or a long block, heavy packages, and a heat wave. We don’t usually think of severe bodily injury and hospital stays.

But the Postal Service does.

The USPS spends $101 million annually to screen every piece of first-class mail sent or received by U.S. households and mail sent to federal addresses in Washington.

With tens of thousands of postal facilities to protect, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service has responded to more than 52,000 calls about suspicious mail since 2001. Inspectors respond to about 10 calls daily. Most are false alarms.

The Postal Service now relies on both human checks and machine screenings to track suspicious mail. Shift supervisors receive regular updates on evolving threats. Postal Inspectors practice regularly with local law enforcement agencies in anticipation of an attack.

Employees are trained to be on the lookout for envelopes without a return address, an invalid Zip code, or weird or scribbled jargon. Sharp objects protruding through boxes or dust or liquids leaking from envelopes is also a potential threat. Questionable pieces of mail are supposed to be turned over to inspectors for further screening.

Hazardous, Resticted, Harmful:

To put it simply:

Some Things cannot be sent in the mail.

Those Things fall into one of the above categories: Hazardous/Harmful, Restricted, or Perishable/NonMailable Things.

If you need to send something that falls into the above categories, you need to label it properly. Ask for help to do this, because the labeling and shipping protocols are long and complicated.

If you send a Hazardous, Restricted, or Harmful Thing in the mail without following the correct protocol, you will be slapped with a very large penalty.

Hazardous Material:

A Hazardous Material is any article or substance designated by the U.S. Department of Transportation as being capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety, or property during transportation.

 

In international commerce, hazardous materials are known as “Dangerous Goods.”

 

Every hazardous material is assigned to one of these nine hazard classes:

 

Class 1: Explosives.

Class 2: Gases.

Class 3: Flammable and Combustible Liquids.

Class 4: Flammable Solids.

Class 5: Oxidizing Substances, Organic Peroxides.

Class 6: Toxic Substances and Infectious Substances.

Class 7: Radioactive Materials.

Class 8: Corrosives.

Class 9: Miscellaneous Hazardous Materials.

Some of the nine hazard classes are further separated into divisions based on their physical or chemical properties. For postal purposes, Exhibit 331 summarizes the mailability of hazardous materials by hazard class.

 

 

If it can kill or injure another person, it is Hazardous Mail. If it is likely to destroy, deface or otherwise damage the mail, postal equipment or other property, it is Harmful Mail.

Harmful matter includes, but is not limited to:

  1. All types and classes of poisons, such as caustic poisons (acids and alkalis), and oxidizers. Controlled substances are also included in this class.
  2. All poisonous animals, except scorpions mailed for medical research purposes or for the manufacture of anti-venom (or antivenin or antivenene); all poisonous insects; all poisonous reptiles; and all types of snakes, turtles, and spiders.
  3. All disease germs or scabs.
  4. All explosives, flammable material, infernal machines, and mechanical, chemical, or other devices or compositions that may ignite or explode. Highly flammable liquids, gases or solids, or any material that under conditions that take place during transportation can cause fire through friction, absorption of moisture, or spontaneous chemical changes or from retained heat from manufacturing or processing, including explosives or containers previously used for shipping high explosives with a liquid ingredient (such as dynamite), ammunition, fireworks, radioactive materials, matches, or articles emitting obnoxious odors.

 

The following descriptions could indicate Dangerous Goods or Hazardous Materials:

Acidic, Caustic, Combustible, Communicable, Corrsoive, Explosive, Flammabe, Compressed gas, Radioactive, Poison. Toxic, Infectious, Volatile.

The USPS and UPS have an updated list of items on their websites.

 

Restricted Matter:

 

Restricted matter includes articles on which mailing restrictions have been imposed for reasons other than risk of harm to persons or property involved in moving the mail.

 

Motor vehicle master keys, abortive and contraceptive devices, odd-shaped items in envelopes, locksmithing devices and intoxicating liquors are examples of restricted items.

 

Perishable Matter:

Perishable matter is anything that can deteriorate in the mail and thereby lose value, create a health hazard, or cause an obnoxious odor, nuisance, or disturbance, under ordinary mailing conditions.

Examples of perishable matter include mailable types of live animals, food items, and plants.

 

The Postal Service provides these labels and tags for affixing to the outside of mailpieces containing bees, live animals, or perishable matter:

  1. Label 27, Bee Ware!
  2. Label 28, Live Animals.
  3. Tag 9, Perishable — Do Not Delay.
  4. Label 127, Surface Transportation O

Mailable perishable matter may be sent at the mailer’s own risk when it is packaged as required and when it can be delivered within appropriate and reasonable time limits to prevent deterioration.

 

The USPS works with shippers wishing to mail various substances. There is a protocol in place for mailing Hazardous, Harmful, Restricted and Perishable Materials.

Acceptability for mailing hazardous materials depends on many factors, such as: “the container fluid/vapor capacities, the ability of the complete mailpiece to contain the material, and the method of absorbing and containing the material in case of accidental leakage of the primary receptacle.”

Normal conditions for transport should always be taken into consideration. All shippers who offer packages containing liquids, for example, must be trained to understand and apply the stringent standards for vibration, pressure and temperature because of the higher risk and possible dire consequences. This is especially critical when it comes to shipments by air.

To determine mailability of a specific material, a mailer must submit a material safety data sheet (MSDS) (see Appendix D) and the following information to the PCSC (see 213 for address):

  1. Common and proper shipping name of the material, hazard class, and the assigned United Nations (UN) or North American (NA) identification number.
  2. Chemical composition by percentage of weight.
  3. Flashpoint.
  4. Toxic properties.
  5. Irritant action when inhaled, swallowed, or with contact to skin or eyes.
  6. Special precautions necessary to permit handling without harm to USPS employees or damage to property or other mail.
  7. Explanation of warning labels and shipping papers required by local, state, or federal regulations.
  8. Description of the proposed packaging method, including the addressing, required markings, and documentation.
  9. Volume of material per mailpiece, proposed number of pieces to be mailed, class of mail, and post office(s) of mailing.

 

Full responsibility rests with the mailer to comply with all Postal Service and non–Postal Service laws and regulations in the mailing of hazardous material. Anyone who mails, or causes to be mailed, a nonmailable or improperly packaged hazardous material can be subject to legal penalties (i.e., fines and/or imprisonment), including but not limited to, those specified in 18 U.S.C. The transport of hazardous materials prior to entry as U.S. Mail and after receipt from the Postal Service is subject to DOT regulations.

 

Civil penalties are assessed for knowingly violating a hazardous material transportation law or a regulation, order, special permit, or approval issued under that law. The following updated civil penalties apply to violations occurring on or after October 1, 2012:

    • The maximum civil penalty is increased from $55,000 to $75,000 for knowingly violating federal hazardous material transportation law.

 

  • The maximum civil penalty for knowingly violating laws and regulations that result in death, serious illness, severe injury to any person, or substantial destruction of property is increased from $110,000 to $175,000.

 

  • The $250 minimum civil penalty has been eliminated.
  • The civil penalty for violations related to training has reverted to $450.

When someone breaks the rules, it puts us all at risk. The consequences for doing so should be substantial enough to discourage misconduct.”PHMSA administrator Cynthia Quarterman

Amazon.com, Inc.—fined $91,000

Amazon improperly shipped a package containing flammable liquid adhesive by air via FedEx. FedEx employees discovered a gallon container of the adhesive that was leaking. The adhesive is classified as a hazardous material under the DOT regulations. Amazon offered the shipment without the requisite shipping papers or emergency response information, and did not mark, label or properly package the shipment. Amazon also failed to properly train its employees in preparing hazmat packages for shipment by air.

Alfa Chemistry—proposed fine $325,000 (still to be settled; imagine the legal costs)

 

Although the Postal Service makes every effort to inform its customers of the mailability of particular harmful matter via the DMM standards and the information in this and other publications, it is the responsibility of the mailer to fully meet all requirements prior to mailing. See 212 for more complete information on the responsibilities of mailers.

 

 

 

 

All the stuff you can’t mail http://www.nerdylorrin.net/jerry/postages/USPS-ForbiddenItems.html

Dried pig ear treat with a recall announcement

Voluntary Recall: Pig Ear Pet Treats; No Illnesses Reported; Strictly Precautionary

TDBBS LLC Voluntary Recalls: Pig Ear Pet Treats; No Illnesses Reported; Strictly Precautionary.

This product was shipped to customers between April 22, 2019, and August 13, 2019.  Customers should dispose of any USA Thick Pig Ear 8 Pack and USA Thick Pig Ear 20 Pack from these shipments.

This recall is the result of routine sampling conducted by the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development. The sample bag tested positive for SalmonellaSalmonella can affect animals eating the products, and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or surfaces exposed to these products.

Summary

Company Announcement Date:
FDA Publish Date:
Product Type:
Animal & Veterinary
Animal Feed
Reason for Announcement:
Salmonella contamination
Company Name:
TDBBS LLC
Brand Name:
TDBBS
Product Description:
Pig ear pet treat

TDBBS Company Contact Information

Consumers:
 877-483-5853
 customerservice@tdbbsllc.com

Company Announcement

Below is a company statement from TDBBS regarding a limited voluntary recall:

“As a strictly precautionary measure and because of our company’s strong commitment to the health and well-being of pets, TDBBS is conducting a voluntary recall of a limited distribution of two pig ear pet treat products sold through Amazon.com – USA Thick Pig Ear 8 Pack and USA Thick Pig Ear 20 Pack.

“This recall has been initiated due to possible Salmonella contamination, which poses a health risk. It is important to know that no illnesses have been reported, and the amount of affected product is minimal.

“TDBBS treats and chews are produced to robust safety and quality standards, using the most advanced food safety protocols. Our team is committed to doing its part to caring for the pets who enjoy our products. We regret the concern and inconvenience this recall creates for our customers.

“Our company has ceased the production and distribution of this product as we, in cooperation with the FDA, continue to investigate the situation further. TDBBS’s product safety team is conducting its own stringent review to identify what measures can be established to prevent this situation from recurring.

“Our safety teams have been rigorously testing our products and raw materials, working with independent testing firms and conducting an internal investigation within our supply chain to determine how this situation occurred. Nevertheless, we believe it is appropriate out of an abundance of caution to conduct this voluntary recall in cooperation with our customer.”

TDBBS provided the following information about specific products recalled:

TDBBS, LLC USA Thick Pig Ear 8 Pack TDBBS, LLC USA Thick Pig Ear 20 Pack
UPC: X001768PNB UPC: X000RBC5VF
Best By Date: 4/22/2021 Lot Code: 1129T1 Best By Date: 4/22/2021 Lot Code: 1129T1
Best By Date: 6/06/2021 Lot Code: 1549T1 Best By Date: 5/13/2021 Lot Code: 1339T1
Best By Date: 8/05/2021 Lot Code: 2179T1

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product or a pet that has eaten the product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

All UPCs, Best By Dates and Lot Codes are located on the package back. Pictures of product labels are below.

Consumers may contact customer service at 877-483-5853, Monday to Friday 9-5pm or email TDBBS at customerservice@tdbbsllc.com.

 

Product Photos

Example Product label – 20 pack

Product photo – pig ear

Example Product label – 20 pack

A banner that reads: Click here to manage household sharps and medicine waste. And get a free sharps container!
Household medical waste disposal

Florida Sues Walgreens and CVS for Opioid Distribution

Florida is suing Walgreens and CVS, two of the largest drugstore chains in the nation, among other opioid distributors and producers, for their role in the opioid epidemic.

The state is alleging that Walgreens and CVS added to the national opioid crisis and to the Florida state opioid crisis by selling more painkillers than necessary and for their “unconscionable efforts to increase the demand and supply of opioids into Florida.”

The lawsuit alleges that Walgreens has dispensed billions of doses of opioids in Florida pharmacies since 2006.  In some stores, its opioid sales jumped six-fold in two years.

The lawsuit further alleged that in 2011,  Walgreens’ pharmacies in Florida ordered more than one million dosage units of oxycodone. That’s ten times the average amount.

Five years ago, the company paid $80 million  to resolve a federal investigation that centered on inadequate record keeping of its Florida opioid sales. The inadequate record keeping allowed opioid pills to get to the black market.

The lawsuit revealed that a Walgreens distribution center sold  2.2 million opioid tablets to  its pharmacy in Hudson, a tiny town, population 12,000. That’s about a six month supply for each resident.

In another town, not identified in the lawsuit, Walgreens sold 285,000 pills in a month to a population of 3,000.

It also shipped more than 1.1 million opioid pills to two pharmacies in Fort Pierce— 1.1 million pills each.

In regard to CVS, the lawsuit accuses the company of distributing more than 700 million dosages of opioid meds in the State of Florida through 754 Florida stores between the years of 2006 and 2014.

CVS also paid $22 million to settle allegations that its pharmacists were filling fake opioid prescriptions in 2015.

“Armed with knowledge of their own sales and shipments and industry-wide data, Defendants knew or should have known that the quantity of opioids being distributed in Florida far exceeds the medical need of Florida residents,” the lawsuit said.

CVS and Walgreens are not the only pharmacies being sued in this lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed in May and already includes other opioid distributors like InSys. (They aggressively marketed SubSys, a fentanyl spray.) Also included are opioid manufacturers, like Purdue Pharma, (OxyContin), Endo Pharmaceuticals, (Percocet) and Teva Pharmaceuticals, who manufactures generic drugs.

Walgreens said they don’t comment on pending lawsuits.

Mike DeAngelis, spokesman for CVS, said the lawsuit is “without merit.” He stated that CVS trains its employees to properly shoulder their responsibilities when they are dispensing controlled substances, and that the company gives pharmacists and their assistants tools to detect illegal sales.

“Over the past several years, CVS has taken numerous actions to strengthen our existing safeguards to help address the nation’s opioid epidemic,” DeAnglelis said.

Walgreens and CVS are working to install drug take back kiosks in their pharmacies, where patients can return unused or expired drugs, in an effort to help with the opioid crisis.

The DEA and Google both provide locators to find your nearest prescription drug take back locations.

Check out The DEA and Google pages below. They contain tools and more info on the ever growing efforts to help people properly dispose of their unused prescription drugs. This is certainly part of the bigger plan to help end the opioid crisis.

DEA’s Prescription Drug Take Back Location Tool

Google’s Prescription Drug Take Back Location Tool

We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

Check out our services and other great resources in the links below.

Medical Waste Disposal Services 

MedWaste’s Blog Index

Medical Waste Regulations

MedWaste’s Product Store 

Home Generated Medical Waste Drop-Off Points In California

 

 

 

 

Drug Take Back Event In Kokomo, Indiana. 12/07/2018

The office of Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill and its Mobile Operations Center will visit Kokomo Friday to hold a prescription drug takeback event.

The public is invited to the event, which will be held from 10 am to 2 pm at Ivy Tech Kokomo, which is located 1815 E. Morgan St. in Kokomo, IN. The public is encouraged to bring unused, unwanted or expired medications for safe disposal.

Local law enforcement and members of the Attorney General’s office will be on campus to collect prescription drugs.

The drug take back event will be at:

Ivy Tech Community College
1815 E Morgan St. 
Kokomo, IN 46901
Friday, 12/07/2018
From 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.

You are invited to bring your unused, unwanted or expired medications to this event in order to dispose of them safely and prevent them from posing future hazards.

The Prescription Drug Take Back event helps keep old pills from being abused.

Read more here: Prescription Drug Take Back In Kokomo, Indiana

The DEA and Google both provide locators to find your nearest prescription drug take back locations.

Check out The DEA and Google pages below. They contain tools and more info on the ever growing efforts to help people properly dispose of their unused prescription drugs. This is certainly part of the bigger plan to help end the opioid crisis.

DEA’s Prescription Drug Take Back Location Tool

Google’s Prescription Drug Take Back Location Tool

We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

Check out our services and other great resources in the links below.

Medical Waste Disposal Services 

MedWaste’s Blog Index

Medical Waste Regulations

MedWaste’s Product Store 

Home Generated Medical Waste Drop-Off Points In California

dangerously high blood pressure

Losartan: Another Blood Pressure Medication Is Being Recalled

The FDA is recalling Irbesartan and Losartan, more angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), after discovering traces of NDEA in them.

This new recall is for Losartan sold by Sandoz.

The recall is only for the 100mg/25mg tablets and does not involve other versions of the losartan drug.

This recall impacts less then 1% for the total losartan drug products in the US market. However, it is only the tip of the iceberg for pharmaceutical products  from the same manufacturer found tainted with amounts NDMA and NDEA that are not safe by the FDA’s standards.

The active ingredient in the recalled lot of losartan tested positive for NDEA.

NDEA is a suspected human and animal carcinogen. It was found within an ingredient that was made and supplied by the Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical Company Co. Ltd. This same company supplied the tainted active ingredient used in the recalled lots of valsartan.

After the European Medicines Agency, (EMA), and then the FDA, confirmed the presence of NDMA and NDEA impurities in Valsartan, the FDA launched an investigation, including an inspection of the Zhejiang Huahai facility. They found traces of both NDEA and NDMA.

At the end of September, the FDA placed the Chinese company on an import alert, which means that any  active pharmaceutical products or finished products from the company would not enter the United States.

Valsartan is used in blood pressure medication and some vaccine products, among others.

The FDA is testing all ARBs- for NDEA and NDMA impurities and is keeping an ongoing list of recalled medicines and those that are not going to need to be recalled.

In August, 2018, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., and Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, released a statement on the FDA’s ongoing investigation into valsartan impurities and recalls.

They described what caused the impurity in the drugs, what the FDA is doing about it, and the risk assessment for patients who have been taking the tainted drug.

The scientists working for the FDA estimated that,  “if 8,000 people took the highest valsartan dose (320 mg) from NDMA-affected medicines daily for four years, (this is the amount of time they estimated the affected drugs were being marketed), there may be one additional case of cancer over the lifetimes of these 8,000 people beyond the average cancer rate among Americans.”

That estimate was based on the highest daily dose, however many people may have taken lower doses, and therefore their risks would be less.

FDA expects the actual cancer risk to most consumers to be lower than the estimate.

The losartan recall is for lot number JB8912. If you are taking losartan, you can check the lot number on the bottle and see if the numbers match.

If your drug is on the recall list, the FDA suggests that you continue to take it until you can get a replacement from a Doctor or Pharmacist.

Questions regarding this recall can be directed to Sandoz Inc. at 1-800-525-8747 Monday-Friday 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM (EST) or email usdrugsafety.operations@novartis.com.

_________

We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

Check out our services and other great resources in the links below.

Medical Waste Disposal Services 

MedWaste’s Blog Index

Medical Waste Regulations

MedWaste’s Product Store 

Home Generated Medical Waste Drop-Off Points In California

a sign declaring the national prescription drug take back day

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Is This Saturday, Oct. 27th of 2018!

This Saturday, Oct. 27th of 2018, the DEA has organized a National Prescription Drug Take Back Day throughout the entire Country. This is one way of helping to deal with the opioid crisis that has been declared a national crisis recently.

MedWaste Management will provide continued coverage of take back event as well as other efforts being made to help with our opioid crisis.

The DEA and Google both provide locators to find your nearest prescription drug take back locations.

Check out The DEA and Google pages below. They contain tools and more info on the ever growing efforts to help people properly dispose of their unused prescription drugs. This is certainly part of the bigger plan to help end the opioid crisis.

DEA’s Prescription Drug Take Back Location Tool

Google’s Prescription Drug Take Back Location Tool

As President Trump signed legislation providing resources to help end our opioid crisis, representatives of companies pledging to help stood behind.

You can watch footage of the President with others discussing our opioid crisis and about the things that our Country is doing to stop it, including prescription drug take back events, and more responsible doctor prescribing.

Behind him stood representatives of companies pledging to help with the crisis. Representatives from Google, Walgreens and CVS were there, among others, promoting tools to help dispose of prescription drugs safely and securely. (22.00 minutes into the video)

We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

Check out our services and other great resources in the links below.

Medical Waste Disposal Services 

MedWaste’s Blog Index

Medical Waste Regulations

MedWaste’s Product Store 

Home Generated Medical Waste Drop-Off Points In California

Household Hazardous Waste Sign

Too Toxic To Trash: Drug Take Back Event in Beverly Hills

The City of Beverly Hills is hosting its annual Household Hazardous Waste and E-Waste Roundup!!

When:

Saturday, September 15, 2018, from  9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Where:

West Third Street, between Foothill Road and Civic Center Drive.

Household Hazardous Waste cannot be discarded in your regular trash can. Included in this category are any items with potential for reactivity, ignitability, corrosivity, toxicity, or persistence. Examples include unfinished bottles of drain cleaner, paint, opened receptacles of motor oil, antifreeze, and fuel, vermin poisons, other poisons, pesticides, herbicides, fluorescent lamps and lamp ballasts, smoke detectors, batteries, home-generated sharps waste, some types of cleaning chemicals, some expired or unused medicines, illegal substances, and consumer electronics (such as televisions, computers, and cell phones).

There are disposal points open throughout the year.

All L.A. County Residents are invited to drive over to West Third Street, between Foothill Road and Civic Center Drive, and drop off household hazardous waste and E-waste.

Place items safely in a box and haul them over!

There’s a limit of 15 gallons, or 125 lbs of hazardous waste per trip.

If you would like more information for this Beverly Hills event, please contact Public Works Customer Service at (310) 285-2467.  For more a complete listing of what you can and cannot bring or information on events, contact:  1 (888) CLEAN-LA or visit www.888CleanLA.com, or 1 (800) 238-0172 or visit www.lacsd.org

To properly and safely dispose of hazardous waste, call the Los Angeles County Hazardous Waste Roundup Hotline: (800) 552-5218 or City of Los Angeles (800) 98-TOXIC or attend a county sponsored round-up.

Please refer to the Household Hazardous Waste Roundup calendar for a roundup near you!

______

We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

Check out our services and other great resources in the links below.

Medical Waste Disposal Services 

MedWaste’s Blog Index

Medical Waste Regulations

MedWaste’s Products Store 

Home Generated Medical Waste Drop-Off Points In California

blood pressure meter

Product Recall: Valsartan

Teva Pharmaceuticals USA today confirmed a voluntary recall to the consumer / user level of 29 lots of single and 51 lots of combination valsartan medicines .

The products subject to recall  are packed in bottles. These lots were distributed Nationwide to Teva’s Direct Accounts (Wholesale/Distributor/Retail/Repackagers/VA Pharmacy, et. al).

These were distributed under the Actavis label in the U.S. They are being recalled due to the detection of trace amounts of an unexpected impurity found in an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) that was manufactured by Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical.

Teva is not the only company to recall Valsartan. Major Pharmaceuticals, and Solco Healthcare are also recalling Valsartan/ Hydrochlorothiazide due to the same impurity detected.

The FDA action came after 22 other countries issued recalls involving 2,300 valsartan batches sent to Germany, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Hungary, the Netherlands, Austria, Ireland, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, France, Poland, Croatia, Lithuania, Greece, Canada, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bahrain and Malta.

What Is Valsartan?

Valsartan is used for the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure) and for the treatment of heart failure. It is also indicated as a treatment for left ventricular failure and left ventricular dysfunction following myocardial infarction. In combination with hydrochlorothiazide, it is used in the treatment of hypertension.

Why Is It Being Recalled?

The impurity detected in the API is N- nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), which is a substance that occurs naturally in certain foods, drinking water, air pollution,  and industrial processes. It can be used to make liquid rocket fuel, softeners and lubricants, among other products. It can also be unintentionally produced through certain chemical reactions and is a byproduct from some pesticide manufacturing, the making of rubber tires or fish processing.a

N- nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) has been classified as a probable human carcinogen as per International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classification.

The toxin affects the liver and causes liver fibrosis or scarring and liver tumors in rats.Exposure to high levels of NDMA may cause liver damage in humans, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.

To date, TEVA has not received any reports of adverse events related to this recall.

What Should You Do?

Don’t stop taking your blood pressure meds!!

First of all, not all medicines containing valsartan are involved in the recall.

Check the FDA recall site or call your pharmacy to find out if the bottle you have is from a contaminated lot before taking further action.

Valsartan alternatives are available.

Patients should contact their pharmacist or physician who can advise them about an alternative treatment prior to returning their medication. Patients who are on valsartan should continue taking their medication, as the risk of harm to a patient’s health may be higher if the treatment is stopped immediately without any alternative treatment.

Questions, concerns, adverse reactions or quality problems experienced with the use of this product may be reported to Teva directly at 888- 838-2872 or to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail or by fax.

_________

We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

Check out our services and other great resources in the links below.

Medical Waste Disposal Services 

MedWaste’s Blog Index

Medical Waste Regulations

Medical Waste Products 

Home Generated Medical Waste Drop-Off Points In California

 

 

e-cigarette, vaping

The Scoop on E-Cigarettes

E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that  look like a real cigarette: kind of pen-shaped. Some look a bit different- those with refillable tanks, for example .

There are nearly 500 brands of e-cigarettes on the market, in more than 7,000 flavors.

All brands have the same basic mechanism:

  • They have containers filled with liquid, ingredients vary with the brand or type.
  • A heating device turns the liquid into vapor that you inhale when you take a drag.

Using an e-cigarette is  called “vaping.”

Are They Safe?

The FDA was given the power to regulate the manufacturing, labeling, distribution and marketing of all tobacco products in 2009 when President Obama signed into law the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act and in 2010 a court ruled that the FDA could regulate e-cigarettes as tobacco products.

It wasn’t until 2016 that the FDA finally announced a rule to regulate e-cigarettes. Under the final rule, the FDA plans to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18.  The rule also requires all makers of e-cigarettes sold after February 15, 2007 to go through a “premarket review.” This is the process that the FDA uses to determine whether potentially risky products are safe. However, companies are allowed to have anywhere from 18 months to two years to prepare their applications. And it will take another year for the FDA to actually approve these applications. So don’t expect e-cigarettes currently on the market to be officially allowed to be sold by the FDA for another couple of years.

The popularity of electronic cigarettes  has outpaced available scientific data.

Research is still preliminary and answers may vary slightly. Overall, here are some points all experts agree on.

E-cigarettes are not safe, regardless of how they are marketed to appear to the public. Yes, they may be safer than conventional cigarettes, but they are not safe on their own merit.

The e-cig works by heating a liquid to generate an aerosol (we call it “vapor”) that is inhaled by the user. The e-liquid in the cigarette (or “e-juice”) is commonly made of nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerine and flavorings.

E-cigarette users who use e-cigarettes that contain nicotine are exposed to its potentially harmful effects. Nicotine is associated with cardiovascular disease, potential birth defects, and poisoning, among other deleterious effects.

Normal usage of e-cigarettes generates low levels of formaldehyde.

Degraded products will produce very high levels of formaldehyde in the vapor. Most users will detect the degradation and avoid using the degraded product, but there is still a slight risk.

Formaldehyde is a well-known carcinogen. Exact measurements have not been established. Too much formaldehyde inhalation will cause respiratory symptoms like itchy nose and throat, coughing, and nosebleeds. It may be implicated in respiratory diseases like asthma. A little exposure once in a while will usually fade, but continuous exposure to high levels of formaldehyde might increase the chance of getting cancer even at levels too low to cause noticeable symptoms. 

Metal parts of e-cigarettes in contact with the e-liquid can contaminate it with heavy metal toxins. 

One of the flavors used in e-cigs is diacetyl, a harmful chemical which causes a lung disease known as ‘popcorn lung’, among other harmful effects.

No long-term data is available on the overall effects of e-cigs on the lungs. In particular, the effects in people with respiratory diseases are still unknown. “No long term data” does not equal, “Safe to Inhale!” It merely states that there is no current information.

According to a study by VA San Diego Healthcare System and UC San Diego researchers, human cells exposed to the e-cigarette vapor showed several forms of damage, including DNA strand breaks. When the  DNA is harmed and the cellular repair process doesn’t work right, it raises the risk of cancer. The affected cells were also more likely to launch into apoptosis and necrosis, which lead to cell death. The team used normal epithelial cells, which line organs, glands, and cavities throughout the body, including the mouth and lungs.

The San Diego team found that the nicotine versions caused worse damage, but even the nicotine-free vapor was enough to damage cells. Nicotine free e-cigarettes caused 50 per cent more DNA breaks, while those containing nicotine raised the damage margin three fold.

They were able to identify that e-cigarettes on the whole have something to do with increased cell death but not necessarily the individual components that are contributing to the effect.

There is limited information available on the environmental issues around production, use, and disposal of e-cigarette cartridges. A 2014 review recommended that e-cigarettes should be regulated for consumer safety.

There is a concern that some of the mainstream vapor exhaled by e-cigarette users can be inhaled by bystanders, particularly indoors.

The liquid used in e-cigarettes is highly concentrated, so absorbing it through the skin or swallowing it is far more likely to require an emergency room visit than eating or swallowing regular cigarettes.

In 2012, less than 50 kids under the age of six were reported to poison control hotlines per month because of e-cigarettes. In 2015, that number rose to about 200 children a month, nearly half of which were under the age of two.

Is Vaping Better Than Smoking?’

E-cigarettes aren’t thought of as 100% safe, but most experts think they’re less dangerous than cigarettes, says Neal Benowitz, MD, a nicotine researcher at the University of California at San Francisco.

Tobacco smoke contains 100 known carcinogens, and 900 potentially cancer causing chemicals, none of which has been found in more than trace quantities in e-cigarette vapor.

Those present are mostly below 1% of the corresponding levels in tobacco smoke   Another review found that compared with cigarettes, e-cigarettes are likely to be much less, if at all, harmful to users or bystanders.

The e-cigarette aerosol can contain toxicants and traces of heavy metals at levels permissible in inhalation medicines, and potentially harmful chemicals not found in tobacco smoke- at concentrations permissible by workplace safety standards.

When vaping, there is no ash, tar, carbon and carbon monoxide entering inhaler’s lungs. However, chemical concentrations may exceed the stricter public safety limits. There is considerable variation between vaporizers in terms of quality of their liquid ingredients and thus the contents of the vapor.

A study funded by Cancer Research UK showed that when smokers switched completely to e-cigarettes, bodily level exposure to established and important smoking-related carcinogens and toxicants was reduced by between 56 percent to 97 percent.

 E-cigarettes are a safer alternative to smoking tobacco in the context of developing smoking-related cancer.

(Dual smokers and vapers, who vape where smoking is prohibited but smoke regular cigarettes as well, saw very different results. Vaping and smoking did not lower the level of toxins in the body and also had too many variables to produce entirely accurate study results.)

Dr. Lion Shahab reported that according to the study, smokers who switched entirely to e-cigarettes cut their intake of toxins and carcinogens. Levels of nicotine — the addictive ingredient in cigarettes — remained constant, but their intake of cancer-causing chemicals fell to levels found in people using nicotine-replacement therapies. E-cigs reduced toxin intake at a level comparable to those who quit smoking by using nicotine replacements like the patch, gum or lozenges.

Proffessor Kevin Fenton, National Director Health & Wellbeing at PHE, agrees: “Public Health England has always been clear that e-cigarettes are not 100 per cent safe, but our major world leading review, published recently, found that e-cigarettes carry a fraction of the risk of smoking.”

“Electronic cigarettes are a much safer alternative source of nicotine for smokers than cigarettes, but that doesn’t mean they are risk free and we would discourage anyone who’s not a smoker from using them,” says Kenneth Warner, a tobacco policy researcher at the University of Michigan. “The worst critics of e-cigarettes would probably argue they’re a half to two-thirds less dangerous. But from a practical view, they’re probably on the order of 80% to 85% less dangerous, at least.”

Can They Help Me Quit Smoking?

“We don’t have the definitive study on that,” Warner says. “My reading of the evidence is that it is quite convincing that e-cigarettes are helping some people quit smoking.”

The American Heart Association says e-cigarettes should only be used as a last resort way to quit.

There is research that supports the idea that e-cigarettes can reduce smoking urges and help motivated smokers quit.

Last year, two out of three smokers who combined e-cigarettes with expert support from a local service quit successfully.

E-cigs have been shown to be as effective as nicotine inhalers in reducing both craving and withdrawals effects. Another study found that e-cigs may be comparable, but not more effective, than other methods for smoking cessation, like nicotine patches and even placebo e-cigs.

Whether e-cigs can safely help people quit smoking remains to be seen. 

“We don’t know what is in e-cigarette vapor because the devices haven’t yet been fully regulated by the FDA,” says Norman H. Edelman MD, of the American Lung Association. “If you want to stop smoking, you may as well use an FDA-approved nicotine replacement, such as the patch or the lozenge. You can have more confidence because it’s been analyzed by the FDA, while e-cigarettes haven’t been analyzed by the FDA.”

Since e-cig manufacturers have not submitted an application to the FDA for their use in smoking cessation, e-cigs are not currently FDA-approved for such use

According to the FDA, there’s no evidence any e-cigarette is safe and effective at helping smokers quit.

The best thing a smoker can do is quit completely now and forever. The best way to succeed is to get help from your local stop smoking service. Smokers who have struggled to quit in the past could try vaping, and vapers should stop smoking.

Talk to your doctor about medications and other strategies that are proven stop-smoking tools. And if you need help quitting or reducing the number of cigarettes you are smoking, check out the smokefree.gov website.

_______

We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

Check out our services and other great resources in the links below.

Medical Waste Disposal Services 

MedWaste’s Blog Index

Medical Waste Regulations

Medical Waste Products 

Home Generated Medical Waste Drop-Off Points In California

what is in my meds?

Product Recall: MyNicNaxs.com

MyNicNaxs, LLC, Deltona, FL is voluntarily recalling all lots of dietary supplements distributed nationwide to consumers and stores. All lots means every bottle that went out of their warehouse, of every product they were selling.

Unfortunately, they are not the first company who needed to recall weight loss and sexual enhancement products. These niches seem to be rife with undeclared, misleading, and plain dangerous pills. Dozens of weight-loss and immune-system supplements on the market are illegally labeled and lack the recommended type of scientific evidence to back up their purported health claims.

Cautionary Tale

MyNicNaxs, LLC, Deltona, FL, is- or was- a company selling both dietary supplements for weight loss and sexual enhancement. Unfortunately, the dietary supplement (or “chinese medicine”) was  a misleading name for products that contained undeclared active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Drugs, in other words.

The FDA went to court to complain. First, they alleged that certain MyNicNaxs products are drugs under the FD&C Act because they are intended to cure, mitigate, treat or prevent disease.

Second, the drugs were misbranded because their labeling was false and misleading in that it didn’t  declare certain active pharmaceutical ingredients. The labeling failed to bear adequate directions for use, and/or the drugs are dangerous to health when used as recommended in the labeling.

The following permanent injuction required the defendants to stop distributing any unapproved new drugs or misbranded drugs. They were prohibited from receiving, manufacturing, holding and distributing any drugs or dietary supplements until the FDA puts out a written notification that they are in compliance of the FD&C Act and its regulations, and that they may resume operations.

The MyNicNax website is down, but the pinterest account is still up with photos of the products and promotional photos.

Harmful Substances

The FDA discovered the presence of Sildenafil, Sibutramine, Diclofenac and/or Phenolphthalein in the dietary supplements. This rendered the supplements as an unapproved drug for which safety and efficacy have not been established.

These products were distributed from January 2013, to December 2017, though the website http://www.mynicnaxs.com.

The undeclared drugs can cause serious health risk. A)Some of them are cancerous, and B)Taking drugs unknowingly can interfere and interact with other drugs the person is taking. Or can expose the consumer to a drug that is harmful or dangerous in their particular situation… a drug they would never take if they knew it was in the magic pill.

The following drugs were detected in the products:

Sibutramine is the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Meridia, a new drug approved by FDA for marketing in 1997 for prescription treatment of obesity and, subsequently, withdrawn from the U.S. market on December 21, 2010, after clinical data indicated Sibutramine poses an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Phenolphthalein is a known carcinogen (cancer causing agent) It was once an ingredient used in over-the-counter laxatives. It is no longer approved for marketing in the United States.

Sildenafil is the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Viagra (PDE-5 inhibitor), a drug approved by FDA for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. PDE-5 inhibitors may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs (such as nitroglycerin). PDE-5 inhibitors can lower blood pressure to dangerous levels.

Diclofenac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) found in FDA-approved drugs that are used to treat pain and inflammation associated with several conditions. NSAIDs could lead to serious GI trouble, like bleeding, ulceration, and fatal perforation of the stomach and intestines.

Patients who are already taking medication that could cause bleeding may increase their risk for bleeding significantly.

This is a list of all the website products, as listed on the FDA website: 26 products in all that did not disclose drugs in the ingredient list on the bottle.

Product Description API Found in FDA Lab Results
Platinum Maximum Strength Blue Pill Version;
30 capsules; 500mg each
Sibutramine and Phenolphthalein
Platinum Maximum Strength Blue Pill Version;
30 capsules; 500mg each
Sibutramine and Phenolphthalein
Slimming Plus Advanced Weight Loss; 30
capsules; 500mg each
Sibutramine and Phenolphthalein
African Viagra – sexual performance
enhancement product; 4500mg x 2
Sildenafil
GINSENG – sexual performance enhancement
product; 300mg/tablet x 10 tablets
Sildenafi
African Superman – sexual performance
enhancement product; 2900mg x 8 tablets per
blister pack
Sildenafil
Old Chinese – sexual performance enhancement
product; 19800mg x 10 capsules
Sildenafil
Lean Extreme Max; 30 capsules; 400mg each Sibutramine
X-treme Beauty Slim; 30 capsules; 350mg each Sibutramine
African Superman – Top-Class Permanence
Tablet; 2900mg x 8 tablets
Sildenafil
Slim Evolution – 100% Natural Ingredients; 30
capsules; 350mg each
Diclofenac
Meizitang Strong Version capsules packed in a
non-flexible clear bottle with a green screw-on
top
Sibutramine
Magic Slim capsules packed in a non-flexible
white bottle with a white screw-on top
Sibutramine
Slim Xtreme capsules packed in a non-flexible
white bottle with a white screw-on top
Sibutramine
Meizi Evolution capsules were packed in a non-
flexible clear bottle with a blue screw-on top
Sibutramine
SlimEasy Herbs capsules packed in blister
packaging and placed in a white box with black
labeling
Sibutramine
Hokkaido – capsules packed in blister packaging
in pink box with black labeling
Phenolphthalein
Super Fat Burning Bomb capsules in blister
packs, packaged in a red box with black labeling
Sibutramine and Phenolphthalein
FRUTA Bio blister packs, packaged in a
yellow/green box with green labeling
Sibutramine and Phenolphthalein
JIANFEIJINDAN Activity Girl – blister packs,
packaged in a white/pink box with pink labeling
Sibutramine
Reduce Weight FRUTA PLANTA blister packs,
packaged in a yellow/green box with green
labeling
Phenolphthalein
Fat Loss Slimming Beauty – 30 capsules in
blister packs packaged in yellow/black box -500
mg
Sibutramine and Phenolphthalein
Fruta Planta -blister packs packaged in
yellow/green box with green labeling
Sibutramine and Phenolphthalein
Botanical Slimming – 100% Natural Soft gel; 30 soft gels; 650mg each packaged in a green bag with yellow and white lettering
Slim Body – Dietary Supplement;100% Herbal Slimming Formula; 30 capsules; 6x5x300mg blister packs, packaged in blue and red box

If you have bought any of these products, you are advised to immediately discontinue use.

There have been no reports of adverse effects so far. If you think you have experienced adverse effects, speak to your health care provider immediately. You should also report to the FDA MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program by filling out the online form, or sending the form by regular mail or fax.

For any questions regarding this recall, contact Mike Banner by phone 407-791-3597 or Chevonne Torres 386-337-8142, Monday to Friday, 09:00am-5:00 pm, Eastern Time.

 

 

 

handshake germs

Is Shaking Hands a Risky Business?

The handshake dates back to the 5th century B.C., in Greece. It was a symbol of peace, each man showing empty hands to prove he wasn’t carrying a weapon.

Some claim that the handshake really started in Medieval Europe, where the knights would shake other’s hands in an attempt to shake loose hidden weapons.

Whether a symbol of peace, or a way to allay suspicion, the handshake is losing popularity as a greeting. In the U.S. it is becoming more and more common to use a fist bump. Forty-nine percent of Americans today will choose the fist bump over the traditional handshake.

Why?

Fear of catching germs.

How Many Germs Are Really On Your Hand At Any One Time?

It’s fair to say a lot of them, especially if you haven’t washed your hands recently.

Every time you touch an object or shake someone’s hand, you are probably picking up bacteria and potentially viruses too. We’re estimated to have around 1,500 bacteria living on each square centimeter of the skin on our hands. Areas such as underneath the fingernails and between the fingers often harbor even more.

According to Research from the University of Colorado at Boulder, on average we carry 3,200 bacteria from 150 different species on our hands.

Bacteria on the hands can be divided into two categories: Resident, and Transient.

Resident flora (or microbiota, if you want to be precise) consist of microorganisms that reside beneath the surface of the skin, but can also be found on the surface of the skin. They are mostly known to researchers because the common ones tend to recur.

Resident flora is more resistant to removal by routine hand-washing and hygiene. At the same time, resident flora is less likely to cause serious infections beyond local infections on broken skin, in eyes, or sterile body cavities.

Transient flora (transient microbiota), which colonizes the superficial layers of the skin, is more amenable to removal by routine hand hygiene. It is acquired most often by direct contact with other people or contaminated surfaces. The strains on your hand can’t be predicted as easily. Different people pick up different germs.

Some kinds of activities result in higher levels of contamination. One highly germy job is working with babies- spit up and other respiratory secretions, diaper changing and direct skin contact all contribute to high levels of bacteria on a caretaker’s hands. However, any job that requires you to use your hands or any part of your hands will result in contamination. Germs find their way onto hands in less obvious ways than changing a baby’s diaper: handling raw meats, touching keyboards and doorknobs, touching any surface that has been coughed or sneezed around, or touching anything that was touched by a hand already contaminated by something it has touched. So even if you are so careful not to touch a doorknob, your colleague who touched the doorknob and then touched your desk can easily pass the germs from the doorknob over to you and your hands.

Depending on where you’ve been and who you’ve been around, the germs on your hand may include the common flu virus, Salmonella, E. coli O157, respiratory infections like adenovirus and hand-foot-mouth disease. Norovirus is alsao likely- it causes the viral gastroenteritis that can so rapidly spread through retirement homes and cruise ships.

It’s easy for these germs and viruses to make their way around, to everyone you come in contact with, and to mouths and noses as you touch your face or eat. (This is where germs really want to go. They can’t cause that much damage just sitting around on your hand. They need to get into the body to really make a person sick. So they bide their time.)

Don’t Panic Yet.

Scientists say germs may be good for us in small measure. According to “the hygiene hypothesis,” exposure to germs and allergens helps our bodies develop immunity to them. This results in less allergies and illnesses. There have been studies that link having a dirty home or growing up in germ-rich places like a farm with reduced allergies and asthma. So don’t take personal hygiene too far and get rid of too much of the germs our bodies need to be exposed to in order to develop the immune system.

This applies especially to children!

Normal human skin is colonized by bacteria. Bacteria impacts your personal health in both positive and negative ways. For better or worse, they are a part of you!

According to Dr Noah Fierer, who led one of the germs-on-hands studies, the types of bacteria on human hands are very diverse.

Each person’s bacterial “fingerprint” is unique. So it doesn’t seem like there is that much sharing going on, despite all that handshaking.

When a study was done on a college campus, the researchers were surprised to find that, among 51 college students’ hands’, there was a low number of species that were shared. The number of different species of bacteria found on each hand also shocked them. On top of all that, there was a difference in the amount and type of bacteria between left and right hands, and there were differences between men and women’s hands.

Not only did individuals have few types of bacteria in common, the left and right hands shared only about 17 per cent of the same bacteria types.

The way your hand interacts with the environment affects the kind of bacteria on it. The transmissibility of transient flora depends on the species present, the number of microorganisms on the surface, and the skin moisture, pH factor, oil and salinity of the hand. That’s a lot more factors at play. It’s not as simple as Handshake=Staph Infection.

Having said all that, hand washing is important.

Hand Washing Saves Lives.

There are certain diseases and infections have been shown to be significantly reduced with hand-washing practices, like the norovirus, and respiratory infections. In a case where there is immune deficiency, or in a place where there is a greater likelihood of meeting virulent bacteria, extra care should be practiced with hand-washing and hand sanitizing.

Many hospitals employ a rigorous hand-washing policy. Hospital-related infections kill 16 million patients yearly. Washing hands has been proven to reduce the amount of infection. So washing your hands can save lives of people in the hospital, or the elderly and the young.

Wash your Hands Right:

  • Sing “Happy Birthday” twice. That’s how long you should scrub for.
  • Make sure to rub between fingers and nails. These are the hotbed areas for germs on your hands.
  • Don’t forget to wash the backs of your hands: Rub one palm over the back of the other, then swap hands.
  • Consider using a clean towel to turn off the tap. You just turned the same tap with your un-washed hands two happy birthday songs ago.

The Soap Conundrum:

The best way to clean your hands is not so much what you use, but how you use it. The physical action of washing hands by rubbing them together is the best way to get rid of germs.

Soap and water can outperform antibacterial products as long as you spend enough time scrubbing your hands.

The  FDA declared antibacterial soaps can no longer be sold if they contain any one of 19 forbidden ingredients, including triclosan (used in liquid soaps) and triclocarban (used in bar soaps). Manufacturers haven’t been able to prove that the ingredients  are more effective than plain soap and water in spreading infection and preventing illness. They also haven’t demonstrated long-term safety for daily use.

Other Reasons to Hold Off on that Handshake:

Some people don’t shake hands- for religious reasons. Orthodox Jews, for example,  have this custom. They will usually let you know, politely and respectfully, that they observe this religious custom. To dispel a myth, it emphatically has nothing to do with impurity, or with social or religious status. The rule is that people of the opposite gender do not even touch each other, let alone shake hands, unless they are husband and wife, siblings, or children with parents and grandparents.

Different cultures have different greetings.

Even with the handshake, the etiquette shifts. Who holds their hand out first? Before shaking hands in other countries, find out what the handshaking etiquette is.

There’s an amazing diversity of greeting customs around the world. In Tibet, they stick their tongues out by way of greeting. In New Zealand, Maori greet each other by touching noses. Men in Ethiopia touch shoulders. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, men touch foreheads. In some Asian countries, people bow to each other. In some European countries, hugs and kisses are a standard greeting ritual.

Imagine the germs you can get by doing that!

_____________

We are MedWaste Management – California’s medical waste disposal experts!

Established in 2008, MedWaste Management brings great benefit to the healthcare industry and the general public alike. We publish this blog to to spread useful and practical information to help people stay safe, smart and healthy!

Call us with any questions or to start service at (866) 254-5105. We are always happy to speak!

Check out our services and other great resources in the links below.

Medical Waste Disposal Services 

MedWaste’s Blog Index

Medical Waste Regulations

Medical Waste Products 

Home Generated Medical Waste Drop-Off Points In California