Promoting Environmentally Responsible Disposal of Unused Pharmaceuticals

Beth Lamanna, RN, MPH
Clinical Assistant Professor
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Beth Lamanna

Visiting Partner Beth Lamanna is a public health nurse who recognized there are many barriers to disposing of unused pharmaceuticals in an environmentally responsible manner. Failure to do so can result in contaminated water, drug abuse, adverse health effects, etc.

Beth’s project with the Visiting Partners Program involved researching laws and regulations at the national, state, and local levels. She discovered that there are serious conflicts between the regulations of various government agencies (e.g. EPA, DEA, FDA, etc.) and that some of these regulations actually go against responsible disposal practices (e.g. flushing unused medications down the toilet). Using this information, she  developed guidelines that can be used by health professionals and Lamanna Imagecommunity members to develop local policies, implement responsible disposal practices, and educate others on the issue.

Beth has made poster presentations and lectured at nursing conferences about responsible disposal of unused pharmaceuticals. She continues to be an active voice in legislative and policy development and she continues to actively mentor colleagues and students on the topic.