Hazards of the Job

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by JJ Lawn, Aug 13, 2001.

  1. JJ Lawn

    JJ Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 350

    This is a question about some of the hazard's of the job that you run into while mowing.

    Today is the second time this month that I have come across used syringes laying in the grass on some of my properties that I mow. I am almost sure that they were not used for administering insulin. I used a pair of tongs to pick them up, wrapped them in newspaper and disposed of them in a trash bin.

    I know that folks are pretty careful of needles while in a hospital environment, but was wondering how hazardous are needles that have been laying in the sun, for a few days or so? Could someone become infected with hepatitis, aids, etc. if one should be stuck by one of them?

  2. E-man

    E-man LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 136

    I am no doctor but I would imagine you would be able to become infected. I think you did the right thing disposing of it by using tongs and not touching it.. I would let the property owners know what you are finding so they can be a little more cautious. Would not want someone getting a needle stuck in their foot or somthing.
  3. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,205

    its crucial to watch out for low lying tree branches. ive knocked my forehead a few times. i must of looked funny swearing to myself.
  4. yardboyltd

    yardboyltd LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 323

    yes, definently tell the owner. I walk barefoot all the time in my yard. In health class the instructor told us that HIV dies when it comes in contact with air and sunlight. Still there could be some serviving inside. Next you should have called the hospital and asked if you could dispose of them. Alot of them have onsite biohazard disposal. I'd hate to think of the trash guys who is sorting trash and after lots of smashing the needle is poking through the paper. (At least you took some precaution.)

    Metaldetecting service anyone? :) Actually I have searched my entire yard with a metal detector and all i found were twist-ties for the christmas lights.
  5. dhicks

    dhicks Member
    Messages: 770

    I'm a medical person, Physician's Assistant and you can become infected with hepatitis, Hep-C and other bloodborne pathogens.
  6. Chopper Lover

    Chopper Lover LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 288

    Please don't put them in the trash...

    What if something happens and some poor trash guy gets stuck with the needle????

    I know it will be a pain, but if you are going to pick them up they need to be disposed of properly. Take them by a hospital, firehouse, doctors office, etc. I am sure they will be happy to dispose of them properly for you.

    You may even be able to get a "sharps box" from a drug store and place them in the container yourself, then take the entire box to one of the places I listed above.

    To answer your question....

    Yes, you can still be contaminated because you have no idea how long they have been there on the ground. The AIDS virus will stay alive until shortly after the blood dries out. Hepatitis stays alive longer.

    I hope this is helpfull.
  7. JLC

    JLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from IA
    Messages: 467

    Kirby can probably quote the numbers, but I'm a first responder at my current job and if I remember right they told us HIV can live outside the body for a day in perfect conditions, and Hepatitis B Virus can live outside the body for up to a week in perfect conditions. Scary thing is every time we go for our yearly refresher course they tell us the more studies researchers do on this, the longer they find it can live outside the body. Best rule of thumb stay away from anything that may contain bodily fluids.
  8. crazygator

    crazygator LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,048

    This should be a very serious issue for us all, but especially with your property owner/homeowner. My mom has recently been diagnosed with diabeties. Therefore she has to check her blood sugar levels with a machine that pricks your finger to draw blood. This machine had a replaceable needle, and she was instructed that if they do not dispose of this needle with all the proper bags and someone finds out (being someone who is in charge of this checking) they will be fined a huge amount and other penalties. Please tell your owner and maybe they can chase off the idiot just throwing them out or leaving them.
  9. rdh

    rdh LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    you would think that you should be able to call the cops and them get finger prints off them and charge the user with some thing like child endangerment. that stuff is no joke to little kids.
    tell the home owner so there kids can be tought not to play with them if they see any more .
  10. powerreel

    powerreel Banned
    Messages: 481

    Hey! I post on this kind of stuff all the time. I run into militant homeless encampments all the time. Sometimes I have done sprays on areas where they are vandalizing peoples property. One incident they had this little wooded hill that you could see for blocks and the roads were lined with cars and they were car-hopping. That means anything of value they would smash the window and steal, mostly from Joe-Six-Packs. I knew where they slept because I took care of the property.....Round Up, TriMec, Surflan, with a sticker makes 'em move! I give all my needles to cops because it's their problem. Good pruning is key, take their cover so they don't sit in the corner and shoot up. Keep your trash up, I'll post a photo of my mechanical hand that I use. Stay Alert!!! And don't grap where you can't see!!! Keep all your litter picked up and they'll shy from your place.....IMAGE IS EVERYTHING.

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