Category Archives: Healthy Living

Household Hazardous Waste Sign

Drug Take Back And Sharps Collection Day In Napa County

Drug Take Back And Sharps Collection Day In Napa County – Saturday, October 27, 2018, from 10am to 2pm, at numerous Napa County locations.

The Police Departments and Sherriff’s offices in Napa County, along with Kaiser Permanente and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will host unused medication and sharps (used syringes and needles) collection events on Saturday, October 27, 2018, from 10am – 2pm, at numerous locations around Napa County.

Residents in the area are encouraged to bring their unused or expired over-the-counter and prescription medications to one of six collection locations throughout Napa County. It is recommended that any personal information on medication containers be removed or blacked out before dropping off. Additionally, these one-day collection sites can legally accept federally-designated “controlled” substances that include many highly addictive prescription medications such as morphine and OxyContin, as well as illegal narcotics such as LSD and ecstasy.

Home generated medical sharps (needles, syringes, epinephrine auto-injectors, etc.) will be accepted for disposal at all of the October 27th sites as well. State law prohibits the disposal of home generated sharps in trash or recycling containers. Improper disposal of home generated sharps is a health and safety threat to children, home health care providers, trash & recycling workers, and pets through accidental needle stick injuries. Sharps that are not disposed of properly can also end up on beaches and riverbanks, waterways, parks and more. Ideally, sharps should only be transported in an approved container obtained from a physician or pharmacy. A tightly sealed, leak- and puncture-resistant container with a lid, such as a bleach bottle, coffee can, or other similar container, is an acceptable alternative for transportation of sharps to the event. These containers should be labeled as “sharps.”

These collection sites accept sharps and unused or expired over-the-counter and prescription medications, and “controlled” substances that include many highly addictive legal and illegal drugs.

“Many people don’t realize that flushing medications down the toilet or putting them down the drain can lead to water pollution and harmful effects on aquatic life,” said Stephanie Turnipseed, Pollution Prevention and Outreach Coordinator with the Napa Sanitation District. “Medication can pass right through the wastewater treatment process and enter our waterways, so the best thing to do is to bring your medicines to a take-back event or one of the year-round drop-off locations for safe disposal.”

In addition to the environmental impact of improperly disposed medications, prescription and over-the-counter drugs that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

This service is free and anonymous.

October 27th Medication And Sharps Collection Event Sites:

American Canyon Police Department

Address911 Donaldson Way E, American Canyon, CA 94503

Napa County Sheriff’s Office

Address1535 Airport Blvd, Napa, CA 94558

Kaiser Permanente Medical Offices – East Parking Lot

Address3285 Claremont Way, Napa, CA 94558

 

Yountville Police Department

Address1950 Mulberry St, Yountville, CA 94599

St. Helena Police Department

Address1480 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574

 

Calistoga Police Department

Address1234 Washington St, Calistoga, CA 94515

Can’t make the collection event on October 27th?

Those unable to take items to the event can dispose of unwanted pharmaceuticals (uncontrolled substances only) and home generated sharps year-round at the Napa-Vallejo Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility located at 889A Devlin Road, next to the Transfer Station in American Canyon. The facility is open every Friday and Saturday from 9am to 4pm.

For “uncontrolled” substances and sharps, there are several local year-round opportunities for safe and legal disposal, which can be found online at www.naparecycling.com/medicine.

Mail back services are available for your home generated sharps. Additional year-round options for residential medical sharps can be found online at www.naparecycling.com/medical-sharps-disposal or call the Napa County Department of Public Works for more sharps disposal information at 707-253-4094.

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 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!

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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

Smoking factories and skeleton

It’s A Dangerous World Out There (And In Here)

The environment is full of toxins. Petrochemicals, Carcinogens, Halogens, Xenoestrogens– there are so many names and categories for so many chemicals that are out there, waiting to make us ill.

They are in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the foods we consume, and the products we use.

In 2006, the Centers for Disease Control reported that the average American has 116 our of 148 synthetic compounds in his or her body, including dioxins, polycyclic hydrocarbons, and organochloride pesticides.  The average umbilical cord contains 217 neurotoxins, 208 of which are known to cause birth defects.

There are about 80,000 chemicals in commercial use in the United States, and only about 2% of those have been assessed for their safety.

The Environmental Working Group, a U.S. environmental health research and advocacy organization, keeps an updated list of the worst offenders. We encounter many of them daily.

Environmental toxins can cause organ failure, developmental problems, cause cancer, and act as endocrine disruptors. (More on that in another article.)

Or, they can do all three.

Let’s talk about cancer, the scariest end result of toxic exposure. So many chemical compounds out there are being vilified as causing cancer. The truth is, they may all be implicated in the development of cell dysfunction that can lead to cancer- but the road is too long to follow it back. When people are diagnosed with cancer, Scientists can’t usually point to a specific chemical and say, “This is what caused it.”

The human body has defenses to guard against all sorts of harmful exposures. For example, damage to DNA cells can lead to cancer, but often, DNA damage can be repaired.

But the thing about cancer is, it starts years before the actual diagnosis. Let’s say somebody’s body is less able to deal with incoming toxins and the DNA doesn’t get repaired.

It’s the unrepaired DNA damage that can lead to mutations in genes or the cellular structure. Mutations in certain genes or cellular structure can cause cancer.

You can also inherit mutations when your parents have been exposed to toxins. The time between the first, slight cell damage and actual cancer has a long latency period, which makes it hard to tell which exposure to which toxin led to the mutation.

Remember that there are 80,000 different chemicals we people are exposed to over our lifetime. This is why it is hard to determine whether a specific chemical causes cancer.  

Having said that, the Cancer Panel Report and the ATSDR single out Asbestos, Arsenic, Beryllium, Vinyl Chloride, Radon, formaldehyde, and benzene as known human carcinogens.

What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos was adapted and widely used in building materials for its fire and chemical proof properties. It also has soundproofing and insulating qualities. Asbestos has been used in thousands of products which are still found in millions of homes today.

Asbestos is a risk when its fibers become airborne after it’s been disturbed in some way. If inhaled, these fibers can lodge themselves in the lungs, causing scarring and abnormal cell growth, leading to a number of cancers, including mesothelioma.

Common asbestos-containing products that can be found in the home include: Insulation materials for pipes and furnaces, attic insulation, shingles, siding and roofing tiles, soundproofing, plaster and joint compounds, casings for electrical wires, some floor tiles and flooring adhesives, and some plastics and paints/adhesives.

Researchers began to find links between asbestos and Cancer already in the 1950’s, but a lot of the products are built into homes and haven’t been removed.

Reducing Asbestos Exposure:

Asbestos is not a problem if left undisturbed. It’s only harmful when it’s airborne. If you suspect a product or home contains asbestos, it is important that you don’t touch or disturb it in any way. It is especially critical to take care if you are planning to remodel or if you find any damaged building materials in your home.

Check with your children’s school. Many schools use older buildings.

According to law, every school in the US is required to have a detailed asbestos management plan, in accordance with The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA).

Schools should inspect their building for asbestos, and re-inspect it at least every three years. They need to provide training in asbestos awareness to custodial staff, and if asbestos is found on premised, write up a detailed plan on how they will get rid of it using people who are trained and certified to handle asbestos properly.

What Is Arsenic?

Arsenic is toxic, bio-accumulative and carcinogenic. It is a metalloid element that occurs in nature, in both organic and inorganic compounds. Organic arsenic is “natural” and therefore less toxic than the inorganic arsenic.

Arsenic was used as a straight-out poison in the olden days. At a concentrated dosage, it is lethal.

Lesser dosage and exposure to arsenic via water and foods can lead to (a)  Various kinds of cancer (lung, bladder, liver and kidney), (b) reproductive and developmental issues; (c) cardiovascular disease; (d) reduced intellectual function in children and (e) possibility of diabetes and high blood pressure.

There are two inorganic arsenic species that are found predominantly in groundwater.

Arsenic poisoning via groundwater has become a worldwide problem. See Bangladesh. The worst toxic exposure issues are usually traced back to the groundwater.

When contaminated groundwater is, or even was, used for irrigation, people can be exposed to arsenic via foods that were grown in soil that was saturated with arsenic-laced groundwater.

It’s all in the water, folks… and then it’s in the soil. And then, it’s in the foods.

The elevated level of arsenic in soil has resulted in elevated concentrations of arsenic in food crops, such as rice and some vegetables. There are different levels of arsenic in the vegetables’ roots, stems, or grain parts. Just like in humans, arsenic bio-accumulates in crops, so the arsenic level depends on the duration and level of exposure.

Then, if cows or other cattle eat the arsenic-laced crops— guess where the arsenic ends up.

Another way the arsenic reaches us humans.

To recap:

Arsenic exposure can occur via water, soil, crops (vegetables and grains), milk, and meat.

On top of that, According to the FDA, poultry farmers are allowed to feed arsenic to birds, for “growth promotion, feed efficiency, and improved pigmentation.” The arsenic affects the blood vessels in chickens and turkeys, causing them to appear pinker and therefore fresher.

“When the Minnesota-based advocacy group Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy tested conventional poultry, it found the poison (arsenic) in 55 percent of chicken parts tested, with the highest amount–21.2 parts per million–occurring in generic brands.

If you want to know how safe that is, the EPA considers 10 parts per billion in drinking water to be high enough to pose a cancer risk. The chickens tested had up to2,000 times more of these cancer causing arsenic levels!

The European Union has outlawed the use of arsenic since 1999.

Reducing Arsenic Exposure:

According to the Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy “American- grown rice contains 1.4 to 5 times more arsenic on average than does rice from Europe, India and Bangladesh— scientists think the likely culprit is the American practice of growing rice on former cotton fields contaminated with long-banned arsenic pesticides.”

Scientists at Consumer Reports recommend restricting rice and rice-based hot cereal, ready-to-eat cereal, rice pasta, and rice cakes to two to three servings a week for adults, and one to one-and-a half servings a week for children.

Thoroughly rinsing and cooking your rice with six cups of water to one cup of rice and then draining the excess water can reduce inorganic arsenic content by about 30 percent.

Additionally, purchasing foreign rice can be a safeguard.

Choose organic poultry. In order to use the label of USDA-certified organic chicken, it is legally prohibited to use arsenic in the feed. (The poultry must also be free of pesticide, chemical fertilizers, hormones, and antibiotics, among other requirements.

What Is Beryllium?

Beryllium is used industrially in three forms: as a pure metal, as beryllium oxide, and most commonly, as an alloy with copper, aluminum, magnesium, or nickel. Beryllium oxide (called beryllia) is known for its high heat capacity and is an important component of certain sensitive electronic equipment.

Workers in industries where beryllium is present may be exposed to beryllium by inhaling or contacting beryllium in the air or on surfaces.

Inhaling or contacting beryllium can cause an immune response that puts you at risk for developing a debilitating disease of the lungs called chronic beryllium disease (CBD). Beryllium-exposed workers may also develop other adverse health effects such as acute beryllium disease and lung cancer.

Reducing Beryllium Exposure:

Follow workplace protocol!

What Is Vinyl chloride?

Most of the vinyl chloride produced in the United States is used to make a polymer called polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which consists of long repeating units of vinyl chloride. PVC is used to make a variety of plastic products including pipes, wire and cable coatings, and packaging materials. Other uses include furniture and automobile upholstery, wall coverings, housewares, and automotive parts. At one time, vinyl chloride was used as a coolant, as a propellant in spray cans, and in some cosmetics.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has determined that vinyl chloride is a known carcinogen. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has determined that vinyl chloride is carcinogenic to people, and EPA has determined that vinyl chloride is a human carcinogen.

Use of Vinyl Chloride has been highly restricted so it’s not very likely to be a major concern today. Inhalation causes a large variety initial symptoms way before there is damage to internal organs or cells. You’d notice if you’ve been exposed to Vinyl Chloride.

Vinyl Chloride also has an easily detectable smell.

There is Vinyl Chloride in cigarette smoke.

PVC products tend to have phthalates in them too, which are endocrine disruptors. It would be smart to avoid phthalates as well.

Phthalates are chemicals used to soften plastics. They are found in a wide variety of products, including shampoo, cosmetics, lotions, bottles, nail polish, and deodorant.

At one time most flexible plastics contained high levels of phthalates. Fortunately, they are being phased out in the US and Europe due to emerging recognition of their risks.

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
(NIEHS), part of the National Institute of Health, has found that pre-natal
exposure to phthalates is associated with adverse genital development and can significantly reduce masculine behavior in boys. This is true for all endocrine disruptors, but phthalates are documented.

Women with high exposure to phthalates while pregnant report significantly more disruptive behavior in their children, while other research by NIEHS has found phthalate exposure can lead to thyroid dysfunction in adults.

Fortunately if exposure is decreased, phthalates quickly exit the body. Studies found that phthalate levels in the urine decreased by
53-56% within three days of stopping exposure.

Reducing  Phthalate Exposure:

  •  Minimize use of plastics with the recycling code #3.
  •  Use PVC-free containers. Buy plastic wrap and bags made from polyethylene and use glass containers. If you do use plastic containers, do not heat or microwave them.
  •  Choose phthalate-free toys. Many large toymakers have pledged to stop using phthalates, but be sure to look for toys made from polypropylene or polyethylene.
  • Purchase phthalate-free beauty products. Avoid nail polish, perfumes, colognes, and other scented products that list phthalates as an ingredient. Many scented products simply list “fragrance” as an ingredient, which often incorporates a number of different chemicals including phthalates. Try to minimize these products, or for more information on phthalate-free cosmetics and personal care products, visit the National Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the Environmental Working Group, which maintains a database on cosmetic products and their ingredients.

What Is Radon?

Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas. It comes from the natural decay of uranium or thorium found in nearly all soils and it typically moves up through the ground and into the home through cracks in floors, walls, and foundations. It can also be released from building materials or from well water. Radon breaks down quickly, giving off radioactive particles. Long-term exposure to these particles can lead to lung cancer.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that radon causes about 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States each year. 1 in 20 homes in the United States have elevated levels of radon present.

Radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking and the leading cause among non-smokers.

Radon Mitigation is the process of decreasing radon in homes found to have elevated levels present.

Reducing Radon Exposure:

  •         Get your home air checked. It is simple and inexpensive.
  •         If you use a well, check your water.

What Is Formaldehyde?

Formaldehydeis a known human carcinogen. It is a colourless, flammable, strong-smelling chemical that is used in building materials and in the manufacture of many household products. It also occurs naturally in the environment and is produced in small amounts by most living organisms as part of normal metabolic processes.

Formaldehyde sources in the home include pressed-wood products such as particleboard and plywood, glues and adhesives, permanent press fabrics, cigarette smoke, and fuel-burning appliances. In addition, formaldehyde is commonly used as an industrial fungicide, germicide, and disinfectant, and as a preservative in mortuaries and medical laboratories.

Research studies of workers exposed to formaldehyde have suggested an association between formaldehyde exposure and several cancers, including nasopharyngeal cancer and leukemia.

Reducing Formaldehyde Exposure:

  •         Use “exterior-grade” pressed-wood products to limit formaldehyde exposure in the home.
  •         Ensure adequate ventilation and moderate temperatures.
  •         Reduce humidity levels with air conditioners and dehumidifiers.
  •         Go natural and grow plants in your home.

What Is Benzene?

Benzene is a colourless liquid that evaporates quickly. It is naturally found in crude oil and is a basic petrochemical (Petrochemicals are endocrine disruptors.) It is also a known human carcinogen.

Substantial amounts of data link benzene to aplastic anemia, bone marrow abnormalities, and leukemia — particularly acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and acute non-lymphocytic leukemia (ANLL).

Benzene is found in tobacco smoke, gasoline (think car exhaust), pesticides, synthetic fibers, plastics, inks, oils, and detergents.

Benzene has also been found in some dryer emissions from scented laundry detergent and dryer sheets

It has been in soft drinks, although they have since reformulated to exclude it.

About 50% of the benzene exposure in the US results from smoking tobacco or from second-hand smoke.

Reducing Benzene Exposure:

  •         Don’t smoke and try to avoid second hand smoke.
  •         Ensure adequate ventilation in your home.
  •         Use non-scented laundry detergents.
  •         Keep plants in the home.

Poison is in the dose. Environmental toxins cause serious health concerns when there is an accumulated exposure. The more prolonged or excessive the exposure is, the worse the effect.

Ironically, prolonged, acute stress can also disrupt endocrine function, cause organ failure, hinder development and is implicated in cancer! So don’t stress out about all these toxins in your environment.

Using a plastic cup every once in a while is not going to kill you.

It’s impossible to completely avoid exposure to known human carcinogens.

However, a few simple steps can go a long way towards protecting you and your loved ones.

*Don’t smoke.

*Don’t expose yourself to secondhand smoke.

*Get your home air and water checked for radon.

*Use a water filter. An air filter is great too.

*Check your home for asbestos materials.

*Keep your home well-ventilated.

*Use less products with “fragrance” as a listed ingredient.

*Keep plenty of plants in your home.

*Decrease use of plastic. Transition to glass, stainless steel, and porcelain containers, mugs and glasses.

*Eat more organic poultry and produce. Wash all produce. If possible, purchase only organic options from the Dirty Dozen.

*Transition to less processed foods and products. The less processed, the better.

   There’s no need to freak out over occasional exposure to environmental toxins. Just look for simple ways to reduce your everyday exposure. Make changes slowly, one at a time, in a manageable way, and you will decrease your risk with minimal stress to yourself and others.

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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

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

Keep the Leash On!

Your dog may be flawless and always listens to your commands. Your dog may be perfectly trained and would never move without your permission. Your dog may be friendly and love all of God’s creatures, humans and animals alike.

You must still keep your dog on its leash.

Why?

 It’s The Law.

Keeping your dog on a leash is a legal requirement as stated in the Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 53.06.2. You must keep your dog leashed any time your dog is off your property.

The same law applies in most municipal codes.

Funnily enough, many people overlook this reason and let their dogs off the leash in public anyway. That may be because the law differs in different jurisdictions. Know the law in your area and keep your dog leashed.

The law specifies various details about the leash. For example, leash length. Legally, the leash must adhere to a certain length limit to be considered a “leashed dog.”

In most California jurisdictions, the leash length requirement is no longer than six feet.

Some jurisdictions don’t have a limit on specific length of a leash. Some have longer leash length. In Long Beach, for example, leash law requires the leash to be no longer than eight feet in length.)

If you are using a retractable leash, it cannot stretch longer than the leash length requirement. So, you cannot use a 10-foot retractable leash even if you keep it at 6 feet long.

Your dog must be kept on a leash anytime it is off your property.

Many communities also have designated areas where dogs are permitted off leash. Dog parks, for example, provide citizens with a place to let their dogs run free and socialize with each other.

There are some ordinances that will make an exception for dogs who are under voice control by their owners. These jurisdictions work on the assumption that responsible pet owners will be able to use verbal commands to stop their dogs from misbehaving in public. Other areas waive dog leash laws if the dog is in a training program or has already completed obedience school. (Livermore and Sacramento leashing laws.)

Los Angeles does not waive leash laws for dogs whose owners have voice control over them.

The penalties for failing to follow dog leash laws vary just as widely as the laws themselves. In Los Angeles County, police and animal control officers can issue citations to owners of dogs “at large.” Owners must appear in court and may be charged with a fine. The first offense will cost $100, the second will be $250 and the third will be $500.

 To Keep Your Dog Safe.

Dogs that are under control are less likely to engage in something harmful, either to themselves or others.

An off-leash dog can eat something it shouldn’t, drink polluted water, or encounter some harmful chemical another way. (Something that was sprayed on the grass, for example.) An unleashed dog can get into a dangerous situation with automobiles, people riding bicycles, broken glass, discarded, rancid food or a sick or rabid wild animal. A dog that’s roaming free can get sprayed by a skunk, encounter a porcupine or a rattlesnake, or get injured chasing  some wildlife.

A dog off a leash is not easily monitored. Dogs can become hypothermic when in cold water and run the risk of an accidental drowning. When summer temperatures get very hot, dogs can get heat stroke or heat exhaustion, both of which can result in serious injury and in rare cases can be fatal.

A visit to an emergency pet hospital can be expensive even if it is only an easily treatable bacterial infection from surface water.

It’s even more expensive and heartbreaking if an encounter causes severe illness or even death to the dog- that could have been prevented. So please leash your dog.

By law, police officers on duty have the authority to shoot and kill your dog if they feel he may be a threat to them or impede their progress. (Even if they are the ones entering your yard.) Keep your dogs supervised and on a leash in public. A leashed dog’s actions are unlikely be misconstrued as a threat or impediment by officers of the law- or other people who are carrying arms for some reason.

To Keep Other Dogs and Animals Safe.

Keeping your dog on a leash keeps unwelcome encounters with other dogs under control. It prevents encounters with unfriendly dogs. Even dogs who may appear friendly at first can sometimes become aggressive during the greeting sniff, or may injure another dog by bowling into them or jumping on them.

Dogs that roam free are more likely to chase wildlife and can spook horses, potentially injuring the riders and the horses. In addition, a spooked horse can kick a dog so hard that it usually results in a serious injury or a fatality.

Think about other people’s pets before unleashing your dog.

There have been instances where people taking their rabbits out for a walk out at the park were chased by unleashed dogs.

And let’s not even talk about squirrels.

To Keep Owners Safe.

Dog owners who let their animals run off leash can be cited for violations of the leash laws. In some jurisdictions, especially in Los Angeles, this means a court appearance on top of a fine. A court appearance can possibly mean spending hours of your day in court so that you can then pay your fine. The first offense will cost $100, the second will be $250 and the third will be $500.

Dog owners are responsible and held liable for cleaning any mess their dogs make.

Dog owners are responsible and held liable for what their dogs do to both humans and other animals.

Any dog that causes a bite or a scratch on a human that involves dog saliva must be quarantined to ensure there is no threat of rabies. Keeping a dog quarantined is expensive and there is the high cost to consider: the treatment of the physical and emotional harm to a bite victim.

Every day about one thousand U.S. citizens incur dog bites that require emergency attention.

Dog bite law is a branch of law that greatly varies from state to state. California has noticed an increase in dangerous dogs and dog bites, and has created a set of laws that are especially stringent in order to keep its citizens safer. In California dog bite lawsuits, the defendant is liable for negligence per se if their dog causes injury to a person while at large in a public domain (excluding dog parks).

And talking about bites…

To Keep Other People Safe.

Not everyone is a “dog person”!!

Many people don’t want to encounter loose dogs! Many people are afraid of dogs– or certain breeds of dogs. (Not naming any, of course.) Cynophobia!! It’s a real thing.

People rely on leash laws when they go places. They go out with the expectation that there won’t be loose dogs to watch out for.

When a dog is loose in areas with leash laws, people’s rights to move around in public places without  encountering loose dogs is infringed.

Not everyone you meet is physically able to withstand a dog jumping on them or running toward them.

If your dog runs toward people and there is a collision, there could easily be scratches or injuries from a dog knocking down a child, a pregnant woman, or an elderly person.

An unleashed dog can unintentionally cause injuries just by being friendly and jumping up to greet a person who is not able to handle it well.

So please keep your dog on a leash in public places.

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

 

needles and medicines at the home

How do I dispose of home generated medical waste?

Click here for a list of FREE approved locations to drop off home medical waste at, in California.

How do I dispose of home-generated medical waste?

Package It: Make sure to package your home sharps waste and needles in approved travel sized or medium sized or large sharps containers. This will allow the waste to be safely handled and transported for disposal . If you don’t yet have a sharps container, try packaging your sharps waste in a heavy duty plastic container, such as a laundry detergent bottle, for the meanwhile. Medicine waste can be packaged in a rigid container. Any printed information about the medicine or prescribed patient, should be erased or covered. 

Dispose Of It: Bring your home generated medical waste to your local California State approved collection site for free and proper disposal.  Remember, all sharps waste must be properly packaged.   For medicine waste, check which of the collection sites on the list indicate that they also accept medicines for disposal.

The not free free option: If you need a professional company to come collect and dispose of your medical waste, contact MedWaste Management at (866) 254-5105. We collect and dispose of all types of medical waste, from all types of facilities in California, such as healthcare facilities, schools, homes and businesses. Since this disposal option is not free, it is recommended for the disposal of large quantities of home generated medical waste, or anyone who wants to pay for this convenience.

What is home-generated medical waste? 

In Septemebr 2008, it became illegal in California to place your home-generated sharps waste in the regular trash container, or to flush it down the toilet.

  • Sharps Waste – Home-generated sharps waste means hypodermic needles, pen needles, intravenous needles, lancets, and other devices that are used to penetrate the skin for the delivery of medications derived from a household, including a multifamily residence or household. See California’s Medical Waste Management Act section 117671.
  • Medicine Waste – Home-generated medicine waste means expired or unused medicines, whether prescription or over the counter.

Browse For Local California County Info:

Alameda County:

Alameda County – Find information about how to properly dispose of home generated sharps and medicine waste in Alameda County, CA.

Alameda County Medication Drop Off Sites – Find the 41 locations, where Alameda County residents can drop off unwanted prescription and Over-the-Counter drugs and medications, including controlled substances.

Alameda County Public Health Dept. –  Find information about how to properly dispose of home generated sharps waste in Alameda County, CA.

CityofLivermore.net  Find information about how to properly dispose of home generated sharps waste in the city of Livermore, CA.

StopWaste.org – Find out where to dispose of of sharps waste and medicine waste in the cities of Fremont, Hayward, Livermore and Oakland, in Alameda County, CA.

Alpine County:

Amador County:

Butte County:

Butte County –  Find information about how to properly dispose of home generated sharps waste in Butte County, CA.

CityofOroville.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Oroville, CA.

Calaveras County:

Colusa County:

Countyof Colusa.org – Learn and see a video about how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in Orange County, CA.

Contra Costa County:

ContraCostacountyhealth.org – Learn more about how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in Orange County, CA.

DeltaDiablo.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in Delta Diablo District, in East Contra Costa County, CA.

PleasantHill.ca.us – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in the city of Pleasant Hill, CA.

Del Norte County:

El Dorado County:

ElDoradoCountygov.us – Learn more about how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in El Dorado County, CA.

Fresno County:

Glenn County:

Humboldt County:

Imperial County:

Inyo County:

Kern County:

KernCountywaste.com – Learn about how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in Kern County, CA.

Kings County:

Lake County:

Lassen County:

Los Angeles County:

Azusa.ca.us – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Azusa, CA.

AgouraHills.ca.us – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Agoura Hills, CA.

Calrecycle.ca.gov – Find locations throughout California that will accept a variety of special wastes.

Calrecycle.ca.gov – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in California.

CityofBell.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Bell, CA.

Lakewoodcity.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Lakewood, CA.

dpwLAcounty.gov – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in Los Angeles County, CA.

MontereyPark.ca.govLearn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Monterey Park, CA.

Madera County:

Marin County:

MarinCounty.org  – Learn more about how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in Marin County, CA.

Mariposa County:

Mendocino County:

Merced County:

Modoc County:

Mono County:

Monterey County:

Napa County:

CountyofNapa.org – Learn about how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in Napa County, CA.

Nevada County:

KeepTruckeeGreena.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Truckee, CA.

Orange County:

FountainValley.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and medicine waste in the city of Fountain Valley, CA.

LaHabracity.org – Learn about how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in the city of La Habra, CA.

Orangecounty.com – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in Orange County, CA.

Orangecountyhealth.com – Learn more about how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in Orange County, CA.

RanchoSantaMargarita.org – Learn about how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in the city of Rancho Santa Margarita, CA.

SanJuanCapistrano.org – Learn about how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in the city of San Juan Capistrano, CA.

Placer County:

RecyclinginLincoln.com – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Lincoln, CA.

Plumas County:

CountyofPlumas –  Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste waste in Plumas County, CA.

Riverside County:

Coronaca.gov – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in the city of Corona, CA.

Riversidecounty.org –  Find information about how to properly dispose of home generated sharps waste in Riverside County, CA.

CityofCommerce.ca.us – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Commerce, CA.

Temeculaca.gov – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Temecula, CA.

Sacramento County:

CityofSacramento.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated hazardous waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Sacramento, CA.

San Benito County:

San Bernardino County:

Adelentoca.gov – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in the city of Adelento, CA.

AppleValley.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the town of Apple Valley, CA.

CityofChino.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in the city of Chino, CA.

CityofCommerce.ca.us – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Commerce, CA.

Fontana.org –  Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in the city of Fontana, CA.

SanBernardinoCounty.gov – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and medication waste in Los Angeles County, CA.

Victorville.gov – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Los Angeles County, CA.

San Diego County:

Oceanside.ca.us – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in the city of Oceanside, CA.

Poway.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and medication waste in the city of Poway, CA.

CityofSanteeca.gov – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in the city of Santee, CA.

San Joaquin County:

Stocktongov.com – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and medicine waste in the city of Stockton, CA.

San Luis Obispo County:

SanLuisObispoCountyiwma.com – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in San Luis Obispo County, CA.

Santa Clara County:

MountainView.gov – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and medicine waste in the city of Mountain View, CA.

San Diego County:

SanDiegocounty.gov – Learn how to dispose of home generated hazardous waste and pharmaceutical waste in San Diego County, CA.

San Francisco County:

San Joaquin County:

San Luis Obispo County:

San Mateo:

SanMateoCountyhealth.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in San Mateo County, CA.

Santa Barbara County:

CountyofSantaBarbara.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in Santa Barbara County, CA.

Santa Clara County:

SantaClara.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and medicine waste in Santa Clara County, CA.

SantaClaraFireDept.org – Learn more about how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and medicine waste in Santa Clara County, CA.

Santa Cruz County:

Shasta County:

Sierra County:

Siskiyou County:

Solano County:

Sonoma County:

RecycleNow.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in Sonoma County, CA.

Stanislaus County:

Stanislauscounty.com – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in Stanislaus County, CA.

Sutter County:

YubaSutterRecycles.com –  Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in Sutter County, CA.

Tehama County:

Trinity County:

Tulare County:

Visalia.city – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in the city of Visalia, CA.

Tuolumne County:

Ventura County:

Simivalley.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Simi Valley, CA.

VenturaCountyrma.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in Ventura County, CA.

VenturaCountypublicworks.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated pharmaceutical waste in Ventura County, CA.

Yolo County:

CityofDavis.org – Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical waste in the city of Davis, CA.

Yolocounty.org –  Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste in Sonoma County, CA.

Yuba County:

YubaSutterRecycles.com –  Learn how to dispose of home generated sharps waste and pharmaceutical in Yuba County, CA.

How can I accept home-generated medical waste at my health care facility or business?

If you have a medical facility or business that generated medical waste, and you already properly dispose of your medical waste, you can easily start accepting home-generated medical waste from your patients and community.

Just make sure of the following:

  • The sharps must be contained in an approved sharps container.
  • The generator of the home-generated sharps waste, or a member of his or her family, must bring the sharps waste to your facility.
  • The sharps waste is accepted at a central location at your facility.
  • You must properly dispose of the home-generated medical waste that you accept, just as your properly dispose of your facility’s medical waste.
  •  A reference to, and a description of, the above actions are
    included in your facility’s medical waste management plan.

See California’s Medical Waste Management Act Section 118147.

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

 

LabCorp

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, more commonly known as LabCorp, is an American S&P 500 company with headquarters in North Carolina. LabCorp has one of the largest networks of clinical laboratories in the world. 36 primary laboratories are located within the United States.

About LabCorp:

LabCorp was an early pioneer of genomic testing using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology, at its Center for Molecular Biology and Pathology in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. It also performs other molecular diagnostics, and does oncology testing, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) genotyping and phenotyping.

LabCorp operates the National Genetics Institute, Inc. (NGI) in Los Angeles, California which develops PCR testing methods. Its ViroMed facility performs real-time PCR microbial testing using laboratory-developed assays. The largest volume of specialty testing is performed at its headquarters; the Center for Esoteric Testing in Burlington, North Carolina.

They utilize seven PA-31-350′s and one PC-12 aircraft on nightly runs from Burlington, NC for use on the East Coast.

LabCorp also operates in Puerto Rico and in three Canadian provinces.

Locations:

LabCorp has 36 primary lab locations across the United States.

You can use the LabCorp laboratory locator to find a lab closest to you.

Hours:

Each location will have its own hours, so you will need to check the location details before scheduling your appointment or walking in.

Some services (like drug testing) are only available during certain hours. Check before you come in!

Appointments:

Appointments need to be made at least two hours in advance.

Walk-ins are also welcome.

Please note:Not all labs offer all services. You need to check with each location.

Labs are generally the busiest from opening until 10:00 AM. Unless you are required to fast, it’s best to schedule an appointment during off-peak hours.

If you are looking for a specific kind of test, LabCorp’s test menu provides a comprehensive list of specialty and general laboratory testing services.  

LabCorp is enhancing your check- in experience.

You can now use your phone, tablet or computer to schedule a visit, input the paperwork you need for your appointment and receive confirmations by text or email with LabCorp PreCheck.

Walking inis also faster with LabCorp Express. You scan your driver’s license or other state-issued ID the first time you visit, then input you insurance information. Pick the reason for your visit and LabCorp Express will provide you with the next available appointment.

Best of all, every time you return to LabCorp, they will remember you as a returning patient, saving you time for future check ins.

What should you bring?

  • The LabCorp test request form requesting the laboratory testing (Your healthcare professional should give this to you or send it directly to the lab)
  • A current insurance identification card (Medicare, Private Insurance or HMO/PPO).You can look up insurance carriers filed by LabCorp.
  • A photo ID (for example, a driver’s license or employee identification badge)
  • Cash, a health spending account card, credit card, or account debit card.

LabCorp staff will make the specimen collection process as safe, quick, and comfortable as possible while safeguarding your dignity and privacy.

Children must be supervised at all times while at our labs. Please plan ahead.

Payment:

There are a variety of payment options.  LabCorp offers you convenient online options for paying bills, updating insurance information, and sending secure emails to the LabCorp billing department.

LabCorp will file claims directly to Medicare, Medicaid, and many insurance companies and managed care plans.

LabCorp offers a Sign-and-Go Preauthorized Credit Card Option.

If you do not have insurance or your health care benefits do not cover clinical laboratory testing services, you will have to pay for the tests performed by LabCorp before specimen collection services are performed.

  • Certain routine tests are available at discounted prices through the LabAccess Partnership Program. To take advantage of this program, you must have your specimen collected at a LabCorp patient service center, and you must pay for your test in full at the time of service.
  • An automated payment collection process is available at many of our patient service centers, as well as certain doctor’s offices where a phlebotomist (person who performs blood draws) is on site to perform specimen collection services for LabCorp.
  • We accept cash, personal checks, and all major credit cards.

If you need additional assistance, LabCorp offers programs to address those patients who have true financial needs, including:

  • Special payment plans for financial hardship
  • Indigent request from physician/facility
  • LabAccess Partnership program

Please call us at 800-845-6167 for more information about these programs.

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

Quest Diagnostics Labs

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated is an American clinical laboratory founded in 1967. They became an independent corporation in 1996. Quest Diagnostics operates in United States, United Kingdom, Mexico, Brazil, Puerto Rico, and has a lab in India. Quest Diagnostics also consult and collaborate with hospitals and clinics globally to interpret unusual lab results and develop testing that is  more efficient and specific.

Locations

Quest Diagnostics have more than 2,200 Patient Service Centers nationwide. Find a Quest Diagnostics Location.

Appointments:

You can Make an Appointment  online or call the automated system:  (888)277-8772.

Quest Diagnostics does take walk-ins, but keep in mind that walk-ins will usually need to spend some time waiting. Scheduling is recommended; besides for keeping your in-and-out time more predictable, it also gives you the option of getting pre-appointment emails with useful information and reminders about the specific test you will be getting.

If you still need to walk in, keep in mind that Quest Diagnostics Patient Service Centers are usually busiest in the early morning. You may want to avoid arriving before nine thirty.

Payment and Billing:

Quest Diagnostics is accepted by most health insurance providers. They accept most major credit cards, debit cards, and health savings account cards. They offer paperless billing, online bill paying, and payment options like Easy Pay™. They also offer Payment Assistance, for patients who qualify.

Services:

Quest offers more than 3,500 kinds of lab tests and screenings. Some of the tests are common (screening for diabetes) and some are hard to find anywhere else.

Quest Diagnostics collect enough specimen for thorough testing. They follow the highest standards for testing in the industry.

Fast results. Quest employs  3,500 drivers and pilots deliver specimens to Quest Diagnostics laboratories as fast as possible.

Easy Access. Patients can access lab results digitally through MyQuest™, another cool service offered by Quest Diagnostics.

Physician Assistance. Services are not only for patients! Quest Diagnostics also offers a host of information and services for physicians. They have 650 Specialists, including MDs and PhDs, to help doctors interpret lab results and develop a plan of action. They also offer cutting-edge testing, which they continually research and develop.

Esoteric Test Options. Quest Diagnostics offers highly specialized tests that most normal labs don’t perform. They have more than 1,500 Esoteric Test Options,  utilizing cutting-edge technologies. These include  innovative applications of gene sequencing, bioinformatics, mass spectrometry, digital pathology and  proteomics to  meet the diagnostic needs of a wider variety of patients.

From personal experience and from reading many customer reviews, I feel like I can vouch for the quality of service at Quest Diagnostics.

Their technicians are both skilled and compassionate and they really know their medical waste management protocols.

I check for Waste Containers and chat with the technicians when I need to get a test done. I walk out relieved because it wasn’t an ordeal, (maybe even a relatively pleasant experience), and impressed with their knowledge of lab protocol.

Before you go:

*Parking differs from location to location. Double check the information to make sure it applies to the location you will be visiting.

*Bring the following to your appointment:

 The lab order from your doctor. Doctors usually send the lab order electronically and you may not even have received a backup copy. If this is the case, call ahead to check if the order was sent and/or received by the Quest Diagnostics lab.

 – Photo identification

 – Current health insurance information

It’s important to also know if your test requires fasting the day before and/or morning of your appointment. Your healthcare provider should have indicated this on your lab order or during your visit. If you are not sure, call to check with your provider.

_________

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

 

Flu Season: Medical Waste Disposal at Home

FLU SEASON! Tips from your medical waste disposal expert.index

Some chiropractors look at people and “see” invisible lines going through their spines. Speech therapists hear little divergences in people’s accents. Barbers notice hairstyles. Teachers notice things that need fixing. I notice places with contamination potential.

Medical waste disposal is all about identifying which medical items can potentially spread pathogens, containing them, and destroying them. I’ve started, however, to notice contamination potential in everyday items as well. Doorknobs, for example. Computer keyboards. Cars with the windows shut and a passenger who’s a carrier…. Don’t ask.

So, here are some tips about handwashing, which has been proven effective at minimizing your potential of getting or giving out germs.

1. Wash your Hands.

I know you’ve heard this before. Keep in mind that if you are just not going to get into the habit of washing your hands regularly, it’s important to wash your hands after using the bathroom, after coughing or sneezing, before and after handling food, after coming into contact with an animal, and probably after coming into contact with something that a LOT of other people come into contact with on a regular basis… like doorknobs.

2. Wash your Hands with Soap.

You need a minimum of 15 to 30 seconds scrubbing time with antibacterial soap to really remove bacteria from your hands. Don’t forget to scrub between your fingers and the area at the base of your palms. Bacteria gets there, too.

3. Dry your Hands.

Once the soap loosened all the bacteria, you need to make sure none of it sticks right back to your skin. The easiest way to transfer bacteria is with wet hands. So dry your hands.

4. Dry your Hands on a Paper Towel.

Air-drying devices can actually increase bacteria count, and also blow germs around in a three to six feet perimeter from the device. Paper towels remove the germs and then they get thrown out into the garbage can. This gives them less potential to infect somebody else with the germs on them.

5. Consider cleaning surfaces

Use products with anti-microbial and disinfectant properties to maximize cleanliness. The easy way to sterilize home surfaces is with wipes. Also, when you clean the floors, clean each area separately, using another microfiber cloth, to avoid cross-contamination. (Meaning, don’t wash the floor in your child’s bedroom, where he’s been hanging out with a bad cold, and then use the same mop on the dining room floor. You’ll be spreading the bedroom germs all over the dining room.)’

Also, you might consider carrying wipes around with you and using them on doorknobs and shopping cart handles, and the like…. places that many people have put their germs on.

6. If you or anyone in your household is ill, use a crude medical waste disposal bio-hazardous waste precaution and double-bag tissues in a separate garbage can. YOu can get a small container and keep it in the bedroom. In my experience, when someone has a bad cold or flu, the tissues tend to really accumulate.

This is your medical waste disposal expert, wishing you good health and happiness, much joy,success, peace and the absence of any sort of flu neurosis this season.

Are Ariana Grande saliva-topped-donuts considered bio-hazardous waste?

Some bits from the news, for those of you who are busy with important things in life:
“Ariana Grande
 will not have to face legal repercussions for her recent bout of “deliberate food tampering,” as the Riverside County Sheriff’s office put it. According to a statement from the sheriff’s office, Wolfee Donuts elected not to press charges against the singer and backup dancer Ricky Alvarez after they were caught on camera licking donuts on the shop’s counter.”

“Donutgate” already caused some fallout for Grande, who has since apologized (twice), for both the donut licking and the comments she made about the donuts, which included the (presumably hyperbolic) statement “I hate America.”

Wolfee Donuts also suffered in the wake of the incident: Their health department grade went from A to B.”

(As an aside, their grade has been raised back by now.)

From a medical waste disposal perspective: Would saliva-topped donuts be considered bio-hazardous waste?

Bio-hazardous waste, also called infectious waste or biomedical waste, is any waste containing infectious materials or potentially infectious substances such as saliva, semen, or blood. In general, the term “biohazard” describes any biological material (ie, plants, animals, microorganisms, or their byproducts) that may present a potential risk to the health and well-being of humans, animals, or the environment.

There are four categories of biohazardous waste disposal, and four levels of risk.

The four categories of biohazardous waste are:

1. SOLID BIOHAZARDOUS WASTE (non-sharps)

2. LIQUID BIOHAZARDOUS WASTE

3. BIOHAZARDOUS SHARPS

4. PATHOLOGICAL WASTE

What kind of waste, exactly, would be included in each category? We will address this in our next blog. Also, of course- protocol on how to dispose of various forms of biohazardous waste.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) categorizes various diseases in levels of biohazard, Level 1 being minimum risk and Level 4 being extreme risk. Laboratories and other facilities are categorized as BSL (Biosafety Level) 1-4 or as P1 throughP4 for short (Pathogen or Protection Level). So, if Ariana Grande has any of these various diseases in her system, the donuts would be respectively categorized using the following guidelines:

Bacteria and viruses including Bacillus subtiliscanine hepatitisEscherichia colivaricella (chicken pox), as well as some cell cultures and non-infectious bacteria, would constitute BIOHAZARD LEVEL 1.

At this level, precautions against the biohazardous waste would be minimal. Mostly, protection would involve using gloves and perhaps some facial protection.

Maybe Ariana Grande’s saliva would fall into this category. In a donut shop, gloves and hair nets would be enough to qualify as a good precaution against biohazardous waste. It is not possible to eradicate all bacteria. We do fine with some exposure to some strains of bacteria and viruses. Ariana Grande’s probabl included.

So, not a biohazardous waste concern.

Just a plain hazard concern.

Bacteria and viruses that just cause mild disease to humans, or are difficult to contract via aerosol in a lab setting, such as hepatitis AB, and C, some influenza A strains, Lyme diseasesalmonellamumpsmeaslesscrapiedengue feverHIV, constitute BIOHAZARD LEVEL 2.

Routine diagnostic work with clinical specimens can be done safely at Biosafety Level 2, using Biosafety Level 2 practices and procedures.

BIOHAZARD LEVEL 3: Bacteria and viruses that can cause severe to fatal disease in humans, but for which vaccines or other treatments exist.Some examples would be: anthraxWest Nile virusVenezuelan equine encephalitisSARS virusMERS coronavirushantavirusestuberculosis,typhusRift Valley feverRocky Mountain spotted feveryellow fever, and malaria. Among parasites Plasmodium falciparum, which causes Malaria, and Trypanosoma cruzi, which causes trypanosomiasis.

BIOHAZARD LEVEL 4: Viruses and bacteria that cause severe to fatal disease in humans, for which vaccines or other treatments are not available. Some examples would include Bolivian and Argentine hemorrhagic feversMarburg virusEbola virusLassa fever virusCrimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever, and other hemorrhagic diseases. Variola virus (smallpox) is an agent that is worked with at BSL-4 despite the existence of a vaccine, as it has been erradicated.

This level of biohazard would require the use of a positive pressure personnel suit with a segregated air supply. Also, there would be mandatory multiple showers at the entrance and exit to a Level Four biolab,a vacuum room,an ultraviolet light room,an autonomous detection system, and other safety precautions that are designed to destroy all traces of the biohazard. There would also be multiple airlocks to prevent both doors from opening at the same time. All the air and water that enters and exits a Biosafety level 4 lab would go through similar decontamination procedures to avoid any possibility of cross contamination.

Frankly, it could have been fun to see a bunch of pressure suits swarm Wolfee donuts to pick up the contaminated, biohazardous waste donuts that had been licked. It could have been amusing to watch someone come along and create a bigger story than this one will ever be. However, (as far as we know), Ariana Grande’s saliva is hardly more than a level one biohazard waste. It’s the kind of biohazard that we probably encounter about a million times a day, on door handles, computer keyboards, in handshakes… not that anyone wants to think too much into that. Also, if people in white pressure suits would have shown up and swarmed into Wolfee’s donuts, I don’t think anyone- anyone!- would be going in there as a customer in the near future… or maybe forever. Too many Ebola outbreak stories right now… and the kinds of speculations around the neighborhood that are really, really bad for business.

Instead, maybe Wolfee’s should capitalize on the short-lived public interest and create a “Grande saliva donut.” I’m sure they can come up with some fancy footwork on the icing to create a signature product that will attract customers for a while.

Waiting to see how this will all blow over, and who will gain from this incident. (I hope somebody does.)

Please feel free to peruse our site for other blog entries about current medical waste disposal issues.

 

Protocols – and Why We Appreciate Them (Hint: Ebola.)

When I was hospitalized overnight, I asked a kindly nurse to get something from my bag for me, as I was confined in bed. She stuck her hand into the pocket, rummaged around- and gasped when she got pricked by a brand-new, never-used flexible acupuncture needle that had gotten out of its packaging somehow. (That’s not what I was asking her to get… no comment on the contents of my bag.)
I reassured her that I have no communicable diseases, am not a drug user, and the needle was never used, to no avail.
She and I both had to get our blood taken and sent to the lab.
Hospital protocol.
This happened a couple years ago. At the time, I was sort of annoyed. Today, I would’ve been vying for that blood test just as keenly as she was.
There is currently an Ebola outbreak. To recap: Ebola is a hemorrhagic fever that strikes like worst imaginable flu and kills about 70 percent of its victims. Since 1976, there have only been about 20 known Ebola outbreaks. The total sum of deaths from Ebola, until now, was 1,548 deaths. It never got very far, beyond some isolated and remote areas in Africa.
The 2014 outbreak is remarkable because the virus has spread to nine countries within a year of it being identified, including the USA, and has already infected more than 20,000 people. That is over four times the sum total of all previous outbreaks combined.
In the USA, chances are good for recovery, and chances are still very slim for catching Ebola, since it is not airborne and is transmitted mainly through direct contact with infected bodily fluids.
There is no cure for Ebola. The best offense in this case is a watertight defense, which includes containing the virus where it hits, and managing contamination from medical waste. That’s partly our job- medical waste disposal companies.
You probably don’t need to worry about Ebola as you go about your day… but I did want to say, that we, your medical waste management companies, are sticking religiously to protocols about biohazardous waste disposal, sharps disposal, and all other medical waste disposal.
We’re doing our little bit to keep everybody safer.
So the next time you begin to get annoyed when someone sticks to unnecessary protocol, remember that there is some reason for protocol. Protocols were not created to annoy people and waste time. At least, not medical waste disposal protocols. They were probably very necessary when they were first put into place, and you may find yourself grateful for them… like maybe tommorrow.
You can check out our other blog articles about how to safely dispose of needles, and other biohazardous waste disposal tips, below.

In a single year, an estimated 20 million people, globally, acquired HBV infections from unsafe MEDICAL injections.

blog post 8To me this is a rather scary number. The amount of people injured from unsafe injections and acquired HBV infections is 20 million, and that’s just the beginning. This calculation hasn’t factored in people getting pricked from used needles and other such outbreaks related to Bloodborne Pathogens and unsafe needle use and disposal.  In fact risks may go unreported; 35 hepatitis OUTBREAKS from healthcare settings were reported to the CDC from 2008 to 2012 and furthermore  one outbreak can affect THOUSANDS of people; 35 outbreaks resulted in the notification of more than 100,000 people who needed to be tested for hepatitis. Healthcare workers often do NOT report their sharps injuries; estimates of under-reporting are 22% to 99%.

Now some of these injuries and accident are possibly unavoidable, no matter how much laws, regulations and safeguards are in place accidents can always occur, however, everyone can do their part to help these number decrease, and the first step is knowing and being able to recognize and correct unsafe situations before an accident occurs. The key to this is the OSHA Training program, which is designed to explain and insure that you know everything necessary to stay safe and compliant.

Our OSHA Compliance program is a comprehensive, user friendly program that will train and certify you and your employees in OSHA compliance. In addition it provides step by step instructions and the ability to create a working safety plan, perform safety audits, search and save MSDS’s, ICD’s and more.

For more information visit our OSHA Training page