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Body Tattoo – blog about tattoo art
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The 4 Factors of Disease Exposure

February 9th, 2008
Have you ever watched the BBC television show How Clean is Your House? I guess you could call it my latest guilty pleasure. These two lovely ladies find the most disgusting homes and teach the people how to clean up properly. One of the things they do during the show is swab some of the exposed areas of the home and take them to a lab, which lets the samples grow in a petri dish. Then they show the homeowners just what kind of health hazards they have been exposing themselves to. On one particular episode, the homeowner didn’t even balk at the samples of staph, listeria, e-coli and other diseases found in massive amounts throughout her home. Her excuse was, “Well, I haven’t gotten sick yet!”

The same attitude is abundant amongst scratchers and those who allow these unlicensed vagrants tattoo them. Just because someone “hasn’t gotten a disease yet” doesn’t mean it’s never going to happen. There are four factors that must be present in order for disease to spread:

  1. The presence of the pathogen itself
  2. Enough of the pathogen to be able to spread
  3. An entry point for the pathogen to infect
  4. A person’s susceptibility to the pathogen

If all four of those factors aren’t present, the disease can’t be spread. So, yes – even when Universal Precautions aren’t followed by the tattooer, some people will get lucky. But all it takes is one mistake, one set of favorable circumstances, one bad tattoo to doom you to a disease that may ruin your life. Is it really worth it?

Extra Reading: How Cross Contamination Affects You


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