We take every step
necessary to provide a safe, clean, and sterile environment for
our clientele. For the safety of our clients and ourselves, we
have attended and passed seminars on OSHA standards of blood born
pathogens, and this material is reviewed and updated annually.
We are members of the A.P.T.( Alliance of Professional Tattooists)
which is a non-profit educational and professional standards organization
with members in all fifty states and abroad. Their primary concerns
are continuing the education in practices of infection control,
establishment of professional standards and the implementation
of processional practices with regard to health and safety in
the tattoo industry.
including bacterial spores, which come into contact with normally
sterile tissue can cause infection. Thus, it is important that
all(critical) items that will touch normally sterile tissue to
be sterilized. In general, intact skin acts as a barrier to most
microorganisms and items that touch only intact skin need to be
cleaned, but not necessarily sterile.
Even with all sterilization
procedures available today, there are key points often overlooked
in a tattoo studio. It is absolutely essential that all instruments
to be sterilized are scrupulously clean. Items must be thoroughly
cleaned before processing, because organic material such as blood
and proteins may contain high concentrations of microorganisms.
Also, such organic material may inactivate chemical germicides
and protect microorganisms from the disinfection or sterilization
process. This means complete removal of all debris, blood, blood
products, skin, tissue, pigments, etc. from tubes, needles and
bars. Reducing the bacterial population by wiping or scrubbing
surfaces, aided by the bactericidal effect of a good disinfectant
enhances the effect of sterilization. Waterproof instruments and
other equipment should be placed in hot trisodium phoshate solution
in an ultrasonic to remove debris left from tattooing and piercing.
The greatest potential
danger in tattoo studios is the transmission of HBV or HCV from
contaminated needles during the cleaning process. Infected clients
carry living virus particles in their bloodstream for several
weeks before feeling symptomatic and for several years after recovery
from a bout with HBV. HBV and HCV are very stable and resistant
to considerable heating, drying, and most chemicals. For this
reason, any items that come into contact with serum, blood or
body fluids must be processed rigorously and carefully.
Saturated steam under
pressure is the oldest effective means and the most common agent
used for sterilization of instruments, devices and supplies. However,
steam sterilization is not a simple process. Providing a sterile
product depends on proper cleaning to lower the bioburden prior
to sterilization, using an effective sterilization cycle and preventing
recontamination of sterilized items through good handling and
storage techniques prior to delivery to the point of use. These
three phases are interrelated and each must be accomplished to
produce and maintain a sterile product.
is the method that is used at B.A.T. Gallery. The autoclave consists
of a steel chamber capable of withstanding more than 15 pounds
per square inch(psi) of pressure. Pre-scrubbed, cleaned and bagged
items to be sterilized are placed in the autoclave. As steam vapor
enters the chamber, the air inside is forced out a vent. When
the temperature inside the chamber reaches 100 degrees centigrade,
or boiling, and all air has been removed, the vents are closed.
Steam continues to enter, increasing the internal pressure to
15 psi above atmospheric pressure. In the studio we maintain 15-30
psi at 250-270 degrees Fahrenheit for 55 minutes from cold start
and 45 minutes from hot start adequately ensures death of all
living microorganisms. In theory, all living material, including
bacteria, fungi, spores, and viruses are destroyed in 15 to 20
minutes. The extra time is a margin of safety. For even further
safety precautions the autoclave is spore tested once a week by
an outside source.
not be achieved using toaster ovens, cigarette lighters, home
ovens, boiling on the stovetop in alcohol, gas grills, sunlight,
halogen bulbs, soaking in solutions such as alcohol or betodine/iodine,