Area residents are encouraged to clean out their medicine cabinets and to safely dispose of unwanted medications and old mercury thermometers by participating in Barnesville Hospitals Mercury Thermometer Exchange and Pharmaceutical Take Back Day on Saturday, October 26th from 7:30- 9 AM in the Barnesville Hospital lobby and from 9:30-noon at the Morristown Pharmacy parking lot. Drop off unwanted medications and at the same time you can exchange your old mercury thermometer for a free digital thermometer.
The Pharmaceutical Take back is being held in conjunction with the National Drug Enforcement Administrations Prescription Take Back Day. Area residents are encouraged to bring unwanted medications for safe disposal. To ensure patient confidentiality cross out the patients name on prescription drug labels, however if possible leave the name of the medication visible.
Across the country there are increasing concerns over prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications being found in public water systems. Drugs collected at the event are destroyed by officials in an incinerator. Burning the drugs is better for the environment than flushing drugs down the drain or placing them in our landfills. A pharmacist and an officer from the Bethesda Police Department will supervise the collection in order to accept expired controlled substances.
Pharmaceuticals are dangerous for the environment and Mercury is also toxic and can negatively impact people, especially children, and wildlife when released into the environment. Mercury can be absorbed through the skin, inhaled or ingested. Children and fetuses are at the greatest risk for health problems due to mercury since their nervous system is still developing.
Barnesville Hospitals Green Team has been actively exploring ways to keep our community safe. The pharmaceutical take back and the mercury thermometer exchange both will keep toxic chemicals out of our environment, said Michael Carpenter, Facilities Director. Each year the hospital recycles over 33 tons of solids and over 1000 lbs. of hazardous waste. This event is one additional way we can help our community to recycle and to keep area residents safe.
Funding for the Mercury Thermometer Exchange is provided through the Ohio Environmental Education Fund Grant and funding for the Pharmaceutical Take Back is provided by the JB Green Team.
For additional information regarding the Pharmaceutical Take Back or the Mercury Thermometer Exchange, please call Barnesville Hospital at 740-425-5109.