ERIC Number: EJ1028155
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Medications at School: Disposing of Pharmaceutical Waste
Taras, Howard; Haste, Nina M.; Berry, Angela T.; Tran, Jennifer; Singh, Renu F.
Journal of School Health, v84 n3 p160-167 Mar 2014
Background: This project quantified and categorized medications left unclaimed by students at the end of the school year. It determined the feasibility of a model medication disposal program and assessed school nurses' perceptions of environmentally responsible medication disposal. Methods: At a large urban school district all unclaimed medications were collected at the end of a school year to determine the extent and nature of this problem. Nurses documented unclaimed medications and transported them to a central district location. An environmentally responsible medication disposal program, consisting of sealed containers bound for a local hospital's disposal system, was implemented. Results: In a school district of approximately 133,000 students, there were 926 different medications abandoned at the end of a school year brought to a central disposal area. Nurses complied with the newly implemented protocol. Information collected from nurses indicates acceptance of the program. Disposal of unclaimed medications at a central location, use of secured containers, and transportation to a hospital for environmentally responsible disposal proved to be feasible and acceptable to the staff. Conclusions: Unclaimed medications at school each year pose a potentially huge environmental risk when disposed of improperly. It is feasible to implement an environmentally responsible medication disposal protocol at schools.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A