How to Dispose of Your Medical Device

How to Dispose of Your Medical Device

So after years, your blood pressure monitor or nebulizer has finally given out. You are probably wondering, "Where do I throw it out?" We are going to give you resources and information on how to safely dispose of your medical device. This general guidance is applicable to the following types of products:

      • Aneroid Sphygmomanometers (Manual Blood Pressure)
      • Blood Pressure Monitors
      • Digital Scales
      • Nebulizers
      • Otoscopes
      • Pulse Oximeters
      • Stethoscopes
      • Digital Thermometers

What is E-Waste?

Electronic waste also known as "E-waste," "e-scrap," or "end-of-life electronics" are terms used to describe electronic nearing the end of their product life. They are usually discarded, donated, or given to a recycler. In 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated 2.37 million tons of e-waste were discarded by US consumers and businesses. This included televisions, computers, cell phones, printers, scanners, faxes, and more. Approximately 25 percent of the e-waste was recycled, but the remainder primarily ended up in landfills meaning the precious metals cannot be recovered.

Which products are considered E-waste? Any electronic. This includes digital blood pressure monitors, digital stethoscopes, pulse oximeters, digital thermometers, nebulizer compressors, digital scales, and otoscopes.

Check Your Medical Device

Let's first check your medical device and go through some important checklist items before disposal.

      • Remove Batteries. Take out the batteries from your device if applicable. Certain types of batteries should not go in household garbage of recycling bins. Refer to this information from the EPA on Used Household Batteries.
      • Contaminated Products Disclaimer.¬†If your product is contaminated (contains foreign substances) then please follow your device's instructions for sterilization, cleaning, and disinfection before disposing of the product.

Where to Dispose of Your Medical Device

You are now probably wondering where to dispose of your medical device. There are a few options:

      • Electronics Drop Off.¬†Your local area may offer electronic drop off locations. Refer to your state, county, and local government websites for drop off location information.
      • Donate.¬†If your device isn't contaminated and is still functional then consider donating it. It will extend the life of the product and keep them out the waste stream.
      • Check with Company.¬†You can also see if the company you purchased the devices from offers any sort of recycling or trade in program.
      • Nonelectronic Devices. If you have an aneroid sphygmomanometer or stethoscope then you can put them in your recycling bin.¬†Refer to your state, county, and local government websites for specific recycling information.

Why BV Medical Cares

Our vision is to enhance customers' health. By informing you on how to dispose of your medical device, we are promoting sustainability which also enhances your health. We want you to make positive choices for your health!

 

Sources:

BV Medical. 2023. 
United States Environmental Protection Agency. Basic Information about Electronics Stewardship. 2022.
United States Environmental Protection Agency. Cleaning Up Electronic Waste (E-Waste). 2023. 
United States Environmental Protection Agency. Used Household Batteries. 2023.