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Body Tattoo – blog about tattoo art

Body Tattoo – blog about tattoo art
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QOW: Spore Tests – What Are They & Why Are They Important?

April 22nd, 2009
Just been reading one of your articles, in which you talked about spore tests; can you tell me more – what are they?

Answer: defines a spore as:


1. Biology. a walled, single- to many-celled, reproductive body of an organism, capable of giving rise to a new individual either directly or indirectly.

2. a germ, germ cell, seed, or the like.

Germ spores live on our bodies, in our bodily fluids and in our blood. Tattoo and piercing tools (as well as doctor and dental devices) come into contact with these spores, which could potentially be spread from client to client if the same apparatus is used. Since many of these tools, such as piercing needles, tapers, and tubes are reused, the only way to ensure that they are safe and free of harmful germ cells is to kill them. That’s where an autoclave comes in.

An autoclave sterilizer is designed to apply the right amount of heat and pressure to the tool to kill the dangerous cells that may still reside on the surface. But, since it is a machine and machines can sometimes be faulty, they have to be tested regularly to make sure that they are doing the job properly. A sample of biological spores is placed into the autoclave and a sterilization cycle is run the same way as if tattoo and piercing apparatus’ were being sterilized. Then the sample is sent back to the lab that provided the sample and they test it to make sure that all of the spores were effectively destroyed. If not, then the autoclave needs maintenance and any tools recently sterilized in it are not considered safe.

This testing process is so important because artist and client health both depend on the proper functioning of the autoclave sterilizer. Most studios send in spore tests weekly to ensure proper autoclave operation.


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