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09.12.07

Body piercing equipment not sterilized

Posted in Piercing News at 6:34 am by admin

DURHAM – Another routine inspection has led the Region to warn of a possible exposure to non-sterile equipment.

For the second time in just more than a month, this time at 68 Degree Nail in Ajax, the Region discovered equipment used to sterilize body-piercing equipment malfunctioned, possibly exposing clients to diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.

People who had body piercing done at 68 Degree Nail from April 30 to June 24 are asked to call the Durham Region Health Department.

Located in the Harwood Mall at 68 Harwood Ave. S., the main business carried out at 68 Degree Nail is manicures and pedicures, but the establishment also provides some body piercing services.

“We are not concerned about the ear piercing because that equipment is single use,” said Ross MacEachern, the Region’s environmental health manager.

Manicures and pedicures are also not a concern, as reusable instruments used for these procedures require cleaning and disinfection after each client, and are not required to be sterilized.

“We believe (the operators) client numbers for body piercing services is small,” Mr. MacEachern said. “She didn’t keep client records. We tried to determine numbers and we couldn’t do that.”

Mr. MacEachern said the fact that client records were not kept is another aspect the Region is dealing with because protocol does require that records be kept.

The business has not been shut down, he said.

Longhorn Custom Body Art in Oshawa was shut down on Aug. 1 after a routine inspection led the Region to learn of a possible malfunctioning of sterilization machine.

In the Longhorn case, between 1,500 and 2,000 people were affected by the potential exposure.

Mr. MacEachern echoed what he said when the first possible contamination came up. He said as the popularity of body piercing and tattooing increases and the number of establishments that offer it grows, regulations governing them haven’t kept pace.

There are guidelines to deal with the tattoo and body piercing industry, but it is largely a self-regulated business, he said. Tattooing, body piercing, manicures/pedicures hairdressing, etc. are scheduled to be inspected a minimum of once per year and whenever a complaint is received about an establishment.

Clients of the business can contact the Durham Health Connection Line at 905-666-6241 or 1-800-841-2729, Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., prior to visiting a physician, to receive an information package that includes forms they will need when visiting a physician or urgent care clinic.

Mr. MacEachern is asking clients not visit the emergency department at their local hospital, an unforeseen problem in the Longhorn investigation.

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