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Ask SAM: Daylight Saving Time ending

Ask SAM: Daylight Saving Time ending Daylight saving time ends Sunday at 2 a.m., so be sure to set your clocks back an hour before you go to...

Ask SAM: Daylight Saving Time ending

Daylight saving time ends Sunday at 2 a.m., so be sure to set your clocks back an hour before you go to bed tonight.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 established our current schedule, with daylight saving time starting on the second Sunday of March and ending on the first Sunday of November. Not everyone is enamored with daylight saving time, and there have been various attempts to either end it or extend it year-round. But so far we keep springing forward and falling back.

A study by the National Road Safety Foundation said that auto accidents increase after the clocks fall back an hour, due in part to the lack of visibility during peoples’ commute home. So be extra vigilant as you adapt to the new time during your evening drive.

In addition to being the time to change your clocks, tonight is also a good time to replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms and do other activities that you should consider every half-year or so, such as cleaning out your medicine cabinet; tossing out old condiment packets from that drawer you probably have in your kitchen full of old soy sauce and ketchup packs; and checking your windows to be prepared for winter weather to come.

Q: Is there a local location to dispose of sharps containers? I am a recent transplant, and my former city had a place you could take sharps containers to. How can I dispose of them locally?

J.R.

Answer: Products including lancets, insulin syringes, capillary tubes and epi-pens require special disposal to minimize injury and infections and should never be disposed of loosely in the trash or toilet, said Bibi Wishart, interim assistant director of the Department of Pharmacy of Wake Forest Baptist Health.

“The FDA recommends that used sharps be immediately placed in a sharps disposal container, which can be found at pharmacies, through your doctor’s office, or online,” she said. Be aware that some companies will charge a fee for disposal.

If a sharps container is not available, she recommended using a heavy-duty plastic household container, such as a laundry detergent container. Plastic soda and water bottles are not considered heavy duty and cannot be used this way. When the container is filled ¾ of the way, lids should be attached securely and sealed with duct tape. The container should be labeled “DO NOT RECYCLE.”

“Community resources may vary when it comes to the disposal of the full containers,” she said. “In North Carolina, full containers can be disposed of in the household trash, but they should NEVER be placed with recycling, as it poses a risk to workers.”

Some pharmacies, hospitals and doctor’s offices may accept containers as well. Some communities in the state have drop-off locations, including in Durham and. High Point has a sharps collection program, but it is only for city residents and requires an appointment. More information on those programs, and more advice on sharps and their safe disposal, can be found at SafeNeedleDisposal.org.

Tim Clodfelter

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