Are Acupuncture Needles Reused?
No, acupuncture needles are not reused in western countries. In western countries such as the UK, it is illegal to reuse any type of acupuncture needle.
All acupuncture needles are one-use disposable needles. They are used once and then put into a sharps box for incineration. This prevents cross infection of blood borne virus between people.
Acupuncturists are required to meet certain professional standards of treatment which includes patient safety and the proper use of needles. Members of acupuncture associations are held to high health standards to ensure patient health and safety during acupuncture treatment.
In China, acupuncture needles are treated like surgical equipment and are autoclaved to kill off any germs and bacteria so they can be reused. The acupuncture needles in China are thicker and the handles are made out of solid metal allowing them to be autoclaved.
Can acupuncture needles be recycled?
No, unfortunately acupuncture needles cannot be recycled. They are placed into a sharps box and incinerated.
Dr (TCM) Attilio D'Alberto graduated from Beijing University in China and has over 14 years of practicing acupuncture in London.