Body Art Sterilization Guidelines
420-3-23-.09 Sanitation and sterilization
(1) Instrument cleaning - All non-single use, non-disposable
instruments used for body art shall be cleaned thoroughly
after each use by scrubbing with an appropriate soap or
detergent solution and hot water or follow the manufacturer's
instructions to remove blood and tissue residue, and placed
in an ultrasonic unit which shall also be operated in accordance
with manufacturer's instructions.
(2) Instruments packaged following cleaning
- After cleaning, all non-disposable instruments used for
body art shall be packaged individually in peel-packs and
subsequently sterilized. All peel-packs shall contain either
a sterilizer indicator or internal temperature indicator.
Peel-packs must be dated and may be used as long as the
package integrity has not been breached.
(3) Instrument sterilization -
(a) All cleaned, non-disposable instruments
and jewelry used for body art shall be sterilized in a steam
autoclave or dry heat sterilizer. Equipment used for sterilization
shall be used, cleaned, and maintained according to the
manufacturer's instructions. A copy of the manufacturer's
recommended procedures for the operation of their sterilization
unit must be available for inspection by the Department.
(b) The use of equipment not specifically
designed for medical instrument sterilization, such as,
but not limited to, food pressure cookers, microwave ovens,
and baking ovens, is prohibited.
(4) Package integrity - Sterile equipment
shall not be used if the package integrity has been breached.
If the package integrity is breached, the equipment shall
be removed from the package, and cleaned and sterilized
as required in sections (1) and (2) of this rule.
(5) Location of sterilizers, when required
- Sterilizers shall be located away from work stations or
areas frequented by the public. If the body art facility
uses all single use, disposable instruments and products,
and utilizes sterile supplies, an autoclave shall not be
(6) Sterilizer efficacy testing - Each holder
of a license to operate a body art facility shall demonstrate
that the sterilizer used is capable of attaining sterilization
by conducting monthly spore destruction tests. These tests
shall be verified through an independent laboratory. The
license shall not be issued or renewed until documentation
of the sterilizer's ability to destroy spores is determined
by the Department. These test records shall be retained
by the operator for a period of three (3) years and made
available to the Department upon request.
(7) Storage of sterilized instruments and other instruments
and supplies - Unless received from the manufacturer as
a sterile instrument and in a package maintaining sterility
and package integrity, all needles used in tattooing and
cosmetic tattooing shall be cleaned and sterilized prior
to use and stored in peel-packs. After sterilization, the
instruments used for tattooing/body piercing shall be stored
in a dry, clean cabinet or other tightly covered container
reserved for the storage of such instruments. All other
instruments and supplies shall be stored in clean, dry and
(8) Sanitization and disinfection of surfaces
- Procedure surfaces, counter tops used for equipment assembly,
and any other similar surfaces where necessary shall be
cleaned and sanitized with a disinfectant solution after
(9) Reusable cloth items - Reusable cloth
items shall be mechanically washed with detergent and dried
after each use. The cloth items shall be stored in a dry,
clean environment until used. Soiled cloth items shall be
stored in a manner to preclude contamination of any clean
items, equipment, or instruments.
(10) Clean techniques required - All instruments
used for tattooing/body piercing shall remain stored in
sterile packages until just prior to performing a body art
procedure. When assembling instruments used for performing
body art procedures, the operator shall wear disposable
single-use gloves and use clean techniques to ensure that
the instruments and gloves are not contaminated.
AUTHORS: Ronald Dawsey and Charlotte Denton
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: Section 22-17A-7, Code of Alabama,
EFFECTIVE DATE: May 4, 2001
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