NOTE: This page is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.
Read-up on Industry-Specific Issues
The following provides more information about risks associated with bloodborne pathogen exposures in the body art industry.
Post cards providing simple ways to reduce bloodborne pathogen exposures in the body art industry were mailed to tattoo and body piercing shops across the United States. Please feel free to download a copy.
- Look Sharp [2.0 MB, 2 pages]
- Good, Clean Art [2.1 MB, 2 pages]
- Let Art Be Your Legacy [2.0 MB, 2 pages]
Related News Items
- NYU Langone: Getting “Inked” May Come with Long-Term Medical Risks, Physicians Warn. A novel Survey of New Yorkers with Tattoo-Related Complications Shows High Rates of Infection, Itching & Swelling, According to NYU Langone Researchers.
Body Art Professional Organizations
- Association for Professional Piercers (APP) is an international non-profit association dedicated to the dissemination of vital health and safety information related to body piercing to piercers, health care providers and the general public.
- Alliance of Professional Tattooists, Inc. (APT) is a non-profit educational organization founded in 1992 to address the health and safety issues facing the tattoo industry.
OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standards
- OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standards
Provides information on bloodborne pathogen policies and compliance
- OSHA enforcement of Bloodborne Pathogen Standards
Establishes policies and provides clarification to ensure uniform inspection procedures are followed when conducting inspections to enforce the Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens Standard
- OSHA most frequently asked questions about the Bloodborne Pathogen Standards
Addresses many frequently asked questions concerning OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogen Standards
- OSHA Model Plan and Programs for the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens and Hazard Communications Standards. [PDF 521 KB, 29 pages]
Includes a model or template of an exposure control plan (ECP) that can be used to create an ECP for a studio that will meet OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogen Standard requirements.
Bloodborne Viruses and Vaccine Information
Needlesticks and Sharps Disposal
- NIOSH Alert: Preventing needlestick injuries in health care settings
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2000-108 (November 1999) Provides information on how needlestick injuries occur, who is at risk of getting a needlestick injury and how to prevent these injuries
- NIOSH Publication: Selecting, evaluating and using sharps disposal containers
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 97-111 (January 1998) Provides information on choosing an appropriate sharps disposal container
- OSHA Letter of Interpretation: Applicability of the Bloodborne Pathogens standard to the tattoo and body piercing industries
Addresses OSHA’s recommendations regarding the practice of re-sterilizing needles
- OSHA Letter of Interpretation: Recapping of contaminated needles used in body piercing
Addresses OSHA’s recommendation regarding the removal and replacement of a cork onto a contaminated needle
- OSHA Letter of Interpretation:
Addresses OSHA’s recommendation regarding “freehand” piercing
- OSHA Regulation: Recording criteria for needlesticks and sharps injuries – 1904.8
Provides additional insight to filling out a sharps incident log
Gloves and Hand Washing
- NIOSH Alert: Preventing allergic reactions to natural rubber latex in the workplace
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 705006 (June 1997).
Provides information on latex allergies and how to reduce these exposures
- NIOSH Publication: A latex allergy prevention guide
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 98-113 (February 1999)
Provides information concerning latex allergies
- OSHA Letter of Interpretation: Mineral oil and/or petrolatum containing skin care products and latex gloves
Discusses OSHA’s recommendation regarding the use of petroleum-based and/or mineral oil-based skin care products when wearing latex gloves
- Guideline for hand hygiene in health-care setting
MMWR October 25, 2002. 51:(RR16)1-44
Provides information on various types of hand cleansers and CDC’s gloving policy.
- OSHA Letter of Interpretation: 8/31/1997 – Requirement for annual BBP training for tattooing and body piercing artists and the use of written interpretations in the BBP training program
Discusses how OSHA’s bloodborne pathogen training requirements apply to the body art industry
Health Hazard Evaluations
- Evaluation of potential bloodborne pathogen exposures among body piercers at Venus and Mars, Orlando, Florida. 1999. HETA 99-0265-2830 [PDF 80 KB, 22 pages]
- Evaluation of potential bloodborne pathogen exposures among body piercers at Body Piercing by Bink, Tallahassee, Florida. 2000. HETA 2000-0013-2830 [PDF 120 KB, 21 pages]
Scientific Journal Articles
- Lehman E, Huy J, Levy E, Viet S, Mobley A, McCleery T . Bloodborne pathogen risk reduction activities in the body piercing and tattooing industry. American Journal of Infection Control.
- Huy J, Ross C, Boudreau A, Weber A . Occupational bloodborne pathogen exposures among community workers. Clinical Occupational Environmental Medicine 2: 537-556.
- Oberdorfer A, Wiggers J, Bowman J, Burrows S, Cockburn J, Considine R . Monitoring and educational feedback to improve the compliance of tattooists and body piercers with infection control standards: A randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Infection Control 32 (3): 147-154.
- Hellard M, Campbell A, Mackintosh A, Ridge A, Bowden S . Investigation of infection control practices and knowledge of hepatitis C among body piercing practitioners. American Journal of Infection Control 31 (4): 215-220.
- Raymond M, Halcon L, Pirie P . Regulation of tattooing in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota: Tattooists’ attitudes and relationship between regulation and practice. Public Health Reports 18: 154-161.
- Raymond M, Pirie P, Halcon L . Infection Control among professional tattooists in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN. Public Health Reports 116:249-256.
Other Topics Related to the Body Art Industry
- Page last reviewed: September 25, 2013 (archived document)
- Content source:
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Office of the Director