Blood Borne Pathogens And Your Local Tattoo Studio
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By Greg Garner
The next time you get the urge to get your self a tattoo, take a moment and think about the following startling but true information. Blood borne pathogens are organisms in the blood that can contain anything from HIV, Hepatitis, (all types) and even an ordinary staph infection. It is not just the needles that can infect you with someone else’s disease. All of the equipment and the ink can become carriers of disease. The next time you are in a tattoo parlor, ask yourself if getting a tattoo is worth the risk.
Is It Worth The Risk
The odds are that reading this will not prevent anyone from getting a tattoo, but at the very least, it should instill in you the desire to know what safety precautions your local tattoo artist is taking. If nothing else, it should prevent you from getting your tattoo done by an amateur with an ink gun. Every year, numerous people are infected with disease from amateur tattoo artists who have the equipment at home in their basement.
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has developed guidelines that licensed tattoo studios have to follow to ensure the public health. You have no way of knowing just how closely your particular artist is following these procedures. This also includes piercings as well. If you must get a tattoo or piercing, talk to your tattoo artist and ask them if they follow safety protocols for blood borne pathogens. Look at the equipment that he or she is using. A good tattoo artist will unwrap a new needle right in front of you.
Its Not Just The Needles
Another thing to look for is if the tattoo artist is using sanitary measures for the ink. Is he or she using a new container for the ink he or she is applying to your skin or is it poured into the same well that he or she used to tattoo the last person on which they last worked. Blood borne pathogens are diseases that will enter into your blood stream through the ink or equipment that the tattoo artist is using. Unless every piece of equipment is completely sterilized after each use, the chance of your contracting a blood borne pathogen is good.
Another cause of disease from blood borne pathogens is the sharing of needles to inject illegal drugs. There are a lot of people out there who use drugs intravenously. When a user is in pain and really needs a fix, they often do not care where they get their needle from. This poses two very real problems. First, they can infect each other with a wide variety of disease, the most common of which is Hepatitis. The second concern is what they do with the syringe after they have used it. You have to be extremely careful in this day and age where you step.
A Walk On The Beach
If you know that drug users frequent a certain place, never walk barefoot there for any reason. It would be a shame to catch a blood borne pathogen by stepping on the discarded syringe of a drug addict. Unfortunately, you never know where drug addicts are apt to use. Public restrooms are one favorite place of the drug addict. Alleys in big cities provide privacy for the drug user as well. Unfortunately, the beach is also the perfect place to go to shoot drugs. The beach is also the perfect place to walk barefoot. While it is more fun to go barefoot on the beach, if there is trash everywhere and you believe that drug users may be using your beach, you might want to consider flip flops or sandals at the very least.
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