Nothing is ever reused in our tattoo process. The law allows tattoo studios to reuse some items according to what is believed to be an acceptable risk. Gary feels no risk is acceptable, so everything is disposable. EVERYTHING!!!!
Every item is new, (not remade in our back room) Every item is sealed in plastic and sterilized at at a FDA approved factory.
Why go to such medical standards when the law does not require it? Because Gary does not cut corners on safety or quality.
You will never see Gary open up a in house sterilized packet,
because there are better ways to do things today.
Your hospital has moved away from this practice years ago.
Even vet clinics have gone to all disposables 10 years ago,
but most all tattoo shops still use over and over things like:
Tattoo Machines (tattoo machines cannot be sterilized and get reused in most shops for years)
Inks including the sealed bottle are single service then disposed of in health dept. approved waste container
Needles (factory made) are single service then discarded in a medical sharps container
Needle bars (factory made) are single service then discarded in a medical sharps container
Grommets are single service then discarded in health dept. approved waste container
Needle tubes are single service then discarded in a health dept. approved waste container
Tube grips are single service then discarded in a health dept. approved waste container
Gloves are single service then discarded in a health dept. approved waste container
(gloves are changed frequently for a fresh pair - as many as a dozen times per procedure)
Ink caps are single service then discarded in a health dept. approved waste container
Client procedure table cover is single service then discarded in a health dept. approved waste container
Barrier bags are single service then discarded in a health dept. approved waste container
(we barrier bag everything, power supply tube, machine, tube, tip, grip, grommet, needle, needle bar - EVERYTHING!)
At G2R everyone gets a fresh new set of everything!
Nothing is reused that impacts the skin!
Below are some reasons that we do not reuse anything in our tattoo process, ever!
Other shops use these practices below, in accordance with that is dictated by the health dept codes
Guns 2 Roses does not do any of this, as we use all disposables, everything new for each customer!
These needle bars have been properly and
thoroughly processed in a spore tested autoclave load, but the process failed
to completely destroy all sources of dangerous disease and infection because of
contamination not obvious or visible to the unaided eye.
An attempt to decontaminate these items according to recommended standards and practices was made:
1. enzymatic presoaking
They still had traces of blood and pigment present, which could transmit potentially deadly pathogens such as Hepatitis C Virus and AIDS even after processing and autoclaving because of the uneven surface finish left when needles were broken off for sharps disposal and reuse of the bar.
The danger with reuse of tubes and grips is the surface finish of the metal, the inside of the tube, is not polished to a microscopically smooth surgical device finish. Even if it were polished well, the mechanical damage done by the machine in motion would render it scuffed to the point where it could still be a problem.
Therefore, the metal can harbor pathogens, endotoxins, and pyrogens in trapped residues of blood and pigment and hair, even withstanding thorough and proper processing by mechanical and ultrasonic cleaning and autoclave sterilizer.
Here is a letter from the tattoo club of Great Britain:
On August 7th I attended a meeting in London on regulations regarding sterilization of piercing and tattooing implements. I was given 10 minutes to speak. Apparently this meeting is from a higher level than I thought. It is part of a larger investigation into skin piercing.
The Environmental Health Authority in Suffolk presented a paper saying the tubes are not being cleaned and sterilized properly. They had a presentation that showed that when they visited some tattoo studios, when they passed a needle bar through a tube it picked up [blood and] pigment on the needles.
It was suggested by Roger Harvard from the Medical Devices Agency that we should be using disposable tubes. And they suggested that if we have to use disposable tubes then it is better to have stainless steel grips and top tubes and to have the nozzle as the disposable piece. It should be a lot easier to clean the grip and tip tube, as there should be less pigment trapped inside these parts.
Nightmare scenario is if Roger Harvard decides to have tattooing equipment classed as medical devices, then tattooing equipment will be regarded as medical equipment and have to be manufactured to strict quality controls and testing with certification for suitability for use. This will mean all internal and external surface being polished to mirror finish, like kidney dishes, medical forceps etc. Almost impossible to do at a reasonable cost.
Another point that was raised by one of the speakers was that he thought we should not use the needle bars again. Normal practice is to sterilize the old needle bars, remove the old needles, resolder new needle to the bar and resterilize. They are not happy with this method and want us to dispose of the used needle and needle bar right after each tattoo.
I do not know what the time scale is on this, could be a few months might be a year or so. What they want to do first is to audit every tattoo studio in the country, and make a statistical list of any problems that they find. I suppose they want this to get more ammunition to hit us with next time around.
This now has to go forward another stage to another committee, whether I will be asked for comments again on this I donít know. So, not a lot solved at the moment, everyone just waiting to see what they want us to do next.
Lionel Tichener, Tattoo
Club of Great Britain