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She makes sure needles are disposed of safely

Posted at 4:30 AM, Jun 22, 2017

CINCINNATI -- Sixteen billion.

That's the number of injections given out worldwide each year, according to the World Health Organization -- more than twice the number of people on Earth. That's also the number of needles needed to deliver those injections. 

People like Kendra Dawson, senior sanitarian at the City of Cincinnati Health Department, make sure those needles are properly disposed of so medicine, body art and city streets remain safe. 

If not for the people who enforce proper needle disposal, "you could see needles in playgrounds or in parking lots where kids play," Dawson said.

Dawson inspects clinics, hospitals and needle-heavy non-medical businesses such as tattoo parlors to make sure their employees are handling needles safely and disposing of them in an appropriate way: In biohazard bins that are watched closely to make sure they're never overfull.

When she finds violations, she writes them up and schedules follow-up appointments to make sure they've been resolved.

"It gets extremely busy," said nursing supervisor Brenda Waldron. "You can miss something."

That's why it pays to have a watchful set of extra eyes keeping Cincinnati safe.