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Alfa Medical
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General Information

State of North Carolina
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North Carolina Body Art Sterilization Guidelines




(a) Antiseptic soap and a germicidal solution shall be available to each tattoo artist. Individual hand scrub brushes and fingernail files or orange sticks for each tattoo artist shall also be available. Before tattooing the first patron of the day, each tattoo artist shall scrub his hands and forearms with an antiseptic soap and warm water for five minutes using a clean individual hand brush and an individual file or orange stick for his fingernails; and he shall repeat this process for two to three minutes before tattooing each subsequent patron that day. An individual disposable towel shall be used for drying the tattoo artist's hands and arms after rinsing. Each tattoo artist shall wear clean disposable latex surgical gloves and a clean or disposable gown or coat or a clean or disposable lap cloth while engaged in tattooing. Gloves must be changed between patrons and disposed of after each use. There shall be no use of tobacco or other smoking materials in the tattooing room, and there shall be no eating of food or drinking of beverages in the tattooing room by the tattoo artist.

(b) Tattooing instruments and other equipment shall be cared for as follows:

(1) All clean and ready-to-use instruments, dyes, carbons, and stencils shall be kept in a closed container, case, or storage cabinet while not in use. The storage cabinet shall be maintained in a sanitary manner at all times. Sterile instruments shall be kept in sterile packages or containers;

(2) Only disposable needles shall be used in the tattooing process, and a new needle or set of needles shall be used on each patron;

(3) Autoclaving shall be used for sterilization of the needle bar tube and needle bar of the tattoo machine before use on each patron. The needle bar tube of the tattooing machine shall be cleaned after each use and before being sterilized for use with the next patron;

(4) The needles and instruments required to be sterile shall be handled with aseptic technique during the tattooing procedure so they are not contaminated before use; and

(5) The effectiveness of the autoclave in killing bacterial endospores shall be tested once each month by using an endospore-impregnated strip. Results of this test shall be recorded for review annually by the department.

(c) All sharps, including the needles after removal from the needle bar, shall be stored and disposed of in containers that are rigid, puncture-resistant, and leak-proof when in an upright position.

(d) Blood and body fluid precautions shall be practiced by the tattoo artist when the potential for contact with blood and body fluids exists in any procedure.

History Note: Filed as a Temporary Adoption Eff. January 1, 1995, for a period of 180 days or until the permanent rule becomes effective, whichever is sooner;

Statutory Authority G.S. 130A-29;

Eff. April 1, 1995.

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