How to Dispose of Expired Inhalers

used inhaler disposal

Used inhalers are an interesting item to dispose of. In fact, most people have no idea what to do with them and simply keep them or throw them in their garbage. There are a few obvious reasons for this, and some that might surprise you…

What Do I Do with Old Inhalers?

Why Can’t You Just Throw Used Inhalers Away?

There are really two main reasons you can’t throw used or expired inhalers away. One, there may be medication left in it. Two, the can will explode when compacted or heated too much (like sitting in a garbage truck for a few hours).

Major pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline did a study that showed 29% of inhalers that have been disposed of have leftover medication in them. If these inhalers go into a landfill, the medication will leak out and contaminate our local water supplies.

Also, some inhalers, when broken open, will release greenhouse gasses. Inhaler related greenhouse gasses are responsible for about 5 million tons of CO2 emissions across the world.

What Do I Do with Expired Inhalers?

Believe it or not, inhalers cannot be disposed of in your medical waste disposal box, pharmaceutical disposal box or sharps container. Most inhalers are considered hazardous waste, and the easiest way to safely dispose of them is giving them to your local pharmacy.

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Fire departments and police stations will often also accept expired inhalers and then properly dispose of them.

Image source: Wikipedia

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