Improperly discarded needles are the latest byproduct of the opioid epidemic ravaging the country. In places like Boston, Philadelphia and Seattle communities are left to deal with strewn sharps, which can carry infectious diseases, like HIV and hepatitis.
Last year, two Starbucks employees in Oregon were pricked with needles while cleaning the store, prompting an investigation from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Since then, Starbucks has installed needle-disposal boxes in select store bathrooms across the country, reports NBC New York.
In Boston, students and families have rallied for safety measures as used syringes and needles started appearing in local parks and even on school grounds. Two needle disposal kiosks have been installed near a school, reports the Boston Globe, and a special sharps team patrols high risk areas for discarded needles. A local politician is putting pressure on pharmacies to offer needle disposal boxes throughout the city.
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