Botulinum toxin injections have been adopted by dentists worldwide looking to offer their patients something more. However, this means that many practices are now generating a new waste stream, which needs to be disposed of properly.
The popular choice
Botulinum toxin is now becoming widely accepted in the public eye, leading to a more diverse use among the populace. A rising number of men have started to explore the anti-ageing possibilities of botulinum toxin (or “bro-tox” as it is often known among male users) in an effort to retain youthful looks for longer[i]. The number of millenials choosing the treatment is also soaring, and younger people are opting for injections to help prevent the signs of aging in a movement some have nicknamed “pre-juvenation”.
The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AFFPRS)’s annual report suggests that the growing demand for the treatment is fuelled by selfie culture and people’s desire to look like their favourite celebrities[ii]. The academy reported that over half of members had seen an increase in injectables in patients under 30 years of age, and that the amount of these procedures, in general, had increased by 25 per cent since 2012.
Introducing facial aesthetic treatments can help bring in new patients and boost profitability for the practice, but it also requires professionals to deal with a new waste stream.
Cytostatic and cytotoxic waste (represented by the colour purple in the Department of Health’s best practice colour coded waste segregation guidelines) is important to dispose of carefully as it poses a number of significant dangers. Cytostatic chemicals such as botulinum toxin effectively paralyse or freeze cells and stop them from changing, whilst cytotoxic chemicals such as those used in cancer treatments kill cells entirely. Due to these effects, both types of substance can reap disastrous effects if accidentally touched or consumed by wildlife or people.
Tools used in procedures that come into contact with these chemicals, as well items such as cleaning wipes used post procedure, should also be considered as cytostatic or cytotoxic waste. Therefore, practices should invest in the proper purple-lidded waste containers and educate staff about the need to separate these items from other waste generated.
One way to support this is to introduce the Colour Code Characters from Initial Medical. Not only do these characters help to remind professionals about proper waste disposal protocols, but they also help to simplify the Department of Health’s waste management colour code system, ensuring that these cytostatic chemicals don’t end up in our natural environments.
Proper disposal is preventative
Due to the dangerous properties of “purple waste” it’s paramount that it is disposed of properly. Botulinum toxin injections can bring many benefits to a practice, but professionals must be aware of proper waste disposal and introduce a system to ensure that these chemicals don’t end up in the environment.
For further information please visit www.initial.co.uk/medical