Tags: arkansas | river | syringes | blood | vials

Arkansas River: Syringes, Blood Vials Dumped Outside of Tulsa

By    |   Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 09:14 AM

The Arkansas River recently became an illegal dumping ground for used syringes, vials of blood, and other medical waste outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and now local authorities are on a hunt to find the culprit.

According to NBC affiliate KJRH, the Pawnee County Sheriff's Office received a call from a boater on Saturday, who fished a number of biohazard containers out of the river where his daughters often play barefoot.

"There's no telling how long this has happened or if it's happened more than once," said the man, Taylor Smyth. "It's sickening to think that there's a possibility that someone could get hepatitis from something like this, the possibility is very real I think."

The Sheriff's Office is now investigating the incident along with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality — trying to determine where the containers came from, and who may have dumped them into the river.

A department spokeswoman, Skylar McElhaney, told The Associated Press that a significant quantity of medical waste has shown up near Ralston in recent days.

"Some of the waste was floating in the river, some washed up on the banks; there were even some syringes in trees," she said.

McElhaney explained that contractors usually pick up medical waste and sterilize it before disposing of it. It's possible one of these private companies went rogue.

While dirty syringes pose a health threat if they stick someone, authorities said the waste is not a threat to drinking water.



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The Arkansas River recently became an illegal dumping ground for used syringes, vials of blood, and other medical waste outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and now local authorities are on a hunt to find the culprit.
arkansas, river, syringes, blood, vials
245
2015-14-18
Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 09:14 AM
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