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200 body-piercing clients urged to get blood tests

Toronto Public Health is urging about 200 clients of two body piercing parlours to get tested for blood-borne diseases after possibly being exposed to improperly sterilized instruments.

The agency said New York, New York (Accessories & Body Piercing) at 423 Queen St. W. and NY NY Body Piercing at 1700 Wilson Ave. didn’t follow guidelines and test their instruments to make sure they were sterilized.

All equipment used for body piercing and tattooing must be sterile, and sterilizers must be tested every two weeks to ensure they are functioning properly, the agency said.

Clients who received body piercing from the two businesses between Nov. 6, 2010, and March 1, should contact their family doctor and get tested for hepatitis B and C and HIV, the agency said.

“We believe the risk is low to them,” Dr. Herveen Sachdeva told CityNews.ca, adding there have been no reports of infections. Dr. Sachdeva is the associate medical officer of health for Toronto Public Health

Toronto Public Health was able to get the records from the parlours’ owner and is in the process of contacting 100 clients The notice was issued because the records for the other 100 were incomplete, she said.

Patrons with questions can call Toronto Public Health for information at 416-338-7600.

Toronto Public Health conducts annual inspections of about 3,000 personal service settings, which include tattoo parlours, nail salons and body-piercing stores.

The notice is the first one the agency has had to issue this year, Dr. Sachdeva said.

Toronto Public Health – Tattooing and piercing safety tips