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Health officials probe medical waste discarded in Hamburg

Someone dumped a large amount of medical waste along a stretch of Southwestern Boulevard between Pleasant Avenue and Lakeview Road in the town of Hamburg, and the Erie County Health Department along with officials from the state were seeking that source late Wednesday, county officials said.

The health department was called by state transportation officials Wednesday afternoon to report “a substantial quantity of medical waste” found along the roadside of Route 20. Health officials said the waste was enough “to fill two garbage bags.”

The waste was not easily seen from the roadway but had been scattered along the roadside, officials said.

The waste was collected by personnel from Erie County’s Emergency Medical Services and Emergency Services departments.

It was unclear what the material was or whether anyone from the public was exposed to it.

Health officials cautioned the public to “avoid direct contact with potential sources of medical waste” and advised citizens to take precautions if items such as soiled gloves, bandages, containers or other such items are found on private property.

Some of those precautions include: avoid touching the materials with bare hands but place the item in a plastic bag before tying the bag shut. Then, place the bag inside another plastic bag and tie that bag shut as well before placing the bagged item in the garbage. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.