@ps_crimeCourts. “Used Needles Pose Dangers to Police, Emergency Responders.” Glens Falls Post-Star. N.p., 11 July 2014. Web. 24 Oct. 2016.
This article describes some of the health risks faced by police and emergency responders due to the improper disposal of used hypodermic needles. Such devices pose threats to professionals processing evidence for crime scenes, as well as the general public. It is quite easy for a poorly discarded needle to prick an unsuspecting victim, especially individuals who do not know any better such as children. The improper disposal of used needles poses a massive public health threat that has been steadily increasing over the years. This is largely attributed to an increase in the use intravenously injected recreational drugs, such as heroine. Some measures being taken to deal with the threat include the development of new puncture resistant gloves for police officers. However, these are not an option for EMTs who require sterile gloves and full mobility of their hands. The best method for combatting the danger posed by inadvertent needle pricks is awareness of the threat.
The author of the article uses quotes from actual police officers and EMTs to demonstrate the fear felt by these individuals about the risk of contracting blood-borne pathogens through needle pricks. It provides a general summary of the issue, and does not delve into too many specific, technical details.
This reading is relevant because it demonstrates the risks associated with needle technologies when individuals fail to take proper care in disposing them. Needles end up in the streets and public areas, where they pose a risk of transmitting life altering diseases to an unsuspecting public.