CDC Features Body Art Tattoos and Piercings

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Data & Statistics               Body Art: Tattoos and Piercings                                                                Print page
Diseases & Conditions                                                                                                          Bookmark and share
                                                                                           Tattoo artists and body
Emergency Preparedness                                                                     piercers should follow              Get email updates
& Response                                                                                 health and safety practices
                                                                                           to protect themselves as            Subscribe to RSS
Environmental Health
                                                                                           well as their clients from
Healthy Living                                                                             bloodborne pathogens such
Injury, Violence & Safety                                                                  as hepatitis B, hepatitis C,         Get email updates
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Workplace Safety &
Health                          Body art is a popular form of self-expression. Tattoos and body piercings are typically
Features By Date                created by professional tattoo artists and body piercers and appear on the body as
                                permanent markings and decorative metal.                                                    What's this?    Submit

                                Health and safety procedures for body artists may be regulated by city, county, or
                                state agencies. Reputable shops and tattoo parlors govern themselves and follow             Contact Us:
                                strict safety procedures to protect their clients – and their body artists.
                                                                                                                                C enters for Disease
                                                                                                                                C ontrol and
                                Considering Body Art?                                                                           Prevention
                                If you decide to get a tattoo or body piercing, make                                            1600 C lifton Rd
                                sure you go to a licensed facility and take time to                                             Atlanta, GA 30333
                                discuss the safety procedures w ith the artists w orking                                        800-C DC -INFO
                                at the shop or tattoo parlor. They should explain the                                           (800-232-4636)

                                                                                        h,        010
                                                                                                                                TTY: (888) 232-6348

                                                                                    Beac er 10, 2
                                process and clarify w hat they do to keep everyone safe
                                                                                                                                24 Hours/Every Day
                                                                               sa
                                and healthy by using sterile needles and razors,

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                                w ashing hands, w earing gloves, and keeping surfaces                                           cdcinfo@cdc.gov

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                                clean.

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                                               son
                                Safety Procedures
                                                             ac
                                Body piercersrand tattoo artistsrprotect themselves and
                                     Ande hen 56914safe and healthy practices,
                                their clients w - follow ing
                                such as: o. 08
                                       N
                                   • Use single-use, disposable needles and razors.
                                     Disposable piercing needles, tattoo needles, and
                                     razors are used on one person and then throw n
                                     aw ay. Reusing needles or razors is not safe.
                                   • Safely dispose of needles and razors. Used
                                     needles and razors should be throw n aw ay in a
                                     biohazard-labeled, disposable container to protect
                                     both the client and the person changing or
                                     handling the trash bag from getting cut.
                                   • Wash hands before and after putting on
                                     disposable gloves. Gloves are alw ays w orn w hile
                                     w orking w ith equipment and clients, changed w hen
                                     necessary, and are not reused.
                                   • Clean and sterilize reusable tools and equipment. Some tools and equipment
                                     can be reused w hen creating body art. Reusable tools and equipment should be
                                     cleaned and then sterilized to remove viruses and bacteria.
                                   • Frequently clean surfaces and work areas. Chairs, tables, w ork spaces and
                                     counters should be disinfected betw een procedures to protect both the health of
                                     the client and the artist. Cross-contamination (spreading bacteria and viruses
                                     from one surface to another) can occur if surfaces are not disinfected frequently
                                     and betw een clients. Any disinfectant that claims to be able to eliminate the
                                     tuberculosis germ can also kill HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses. Use a
                                     commercial disinfectant, follow ing the manufacturer’s instructions, or a mixture of
                                     bleach and w ater (1 part bleach to 9 parts w ater).
                                For more safe and healthy practices, please see Preventing Needlestick Injuries.
                                By follow ing safety procedures, tattoo artists and body piercers protect themselves
                                and their clients against exposure risks such as:
                                   • Viruses, germs, and bacteria that can cause infections
                                   • Tuberculosis
                                   • Hepatitis B
                                   • Hepatitis C
                                 • Hepatitis C
                                 • HIV and AIDS

                             Additional Information for Body Artists
                                   Safety Information for Tattoo and Body Piercing Artists
                                   Organizations Involved in Identifying Bloodborne Pathogen Exposure Risks in the
                                   Body Art Industry
                                   Body Art Information Post Cards
                                   Sterilization or Disinfection of Patient-Care Equipment
                                   About Small Business, helping small business ow ners, employers, and managers
                                   deal w ith occupational safety and health concerns
                                   Wash Your Hands
                                   Association of Professional Piercers



                                More Information
                                   Can I Get HIV From Getting a Tattoo or Through Body Piercing?
                                   Piercings and Tattoos         , MedLinePlus
                                   Tattoos and Permanent Makeup , US Food and Drug Administration
                                   Think Before You Ink: Are Tattoos Safe? , US Food and Drug Administration

                                Em ail      Print   Share    Updates       Subscribe

                             Page last reviewed: January 21, 2008
                             Page last updated: January 21, 2008
                             C ontent source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and
                             Divisions of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National C enter for HIV/ADIS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and
                             TB Prevention
                             Page maintained by:Office of the Associate Director for C ommunication, Division of News
                             and Electronic Media
                             URL for this page: http://www.cdc.gov/Features/BodyArt/

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                                                                     h,        010
C enters for Disease C ontrol and Prevention 1600 C lifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30333, USA

                                                                 Beac er 10, 2
800-C DC -INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348, 24 Hours/Every Day - cdcinfo@cdc.gov
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posted:7/16/2012
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