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Notification Of Public Health Order Issued

The Broome County Health Department issued a Cease and Desist Order on May 15, 2008 to Chris Snyder a.k.a. "Casper", residing in the City of Binghamton, directing that he cease and desist the business or activity of tattooing immediately, unless he is able to show compliance with described elements of proper tattooing procedure. The Order was issued in response to complaints and an investigation by the health department into the tattooing of individuals by Mr. Snyder. The investigation led health department officials to believe that Mr. Snyder may have tattooed individuals both in and outside of Broome County. It is believed that Mr. Snyder performed tattoos at his home or in other private settings, including clients' homes.

The information to date suggests that Mr. Snyder did not use proper infection control techniques to prevent transmission of bloodborne pathogens, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV. There is no information that any of Mr. Snyder's clients became infected with these diseases. However, because the health department cannot be sure of the risk, if any, for transmission of these infections, they are recommending that individuals who were tattooed by Mr. Snyder contact the Broome County Health Department at 607.778.3911, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for information regarding testing for possible exposure to bloodborne pathogens.

"Tattoos are very popular today. If you are considering getting a tattoo make sure that proper sanitary practices are being used," said Claudia Edwards, Public Health Director for the Broome County Health Department. Although there is no county or state licensing for tattoo parlors or artists at this time, the following basic safety and health guidelines should be practiced:

  • Seek out an establishment that is reputable, clean and well-maintained.
  • Make sure your artist washes his/her hands thoroughly and puts on a new pair of disposable gloves before setting up tubes, needles and ink supplies.
  • The site of your tattoo and the surrounding skin should be cleansed with warm water and soap and then treated with an approved germicidal solution prior to placing the tattoo.
  • If your skin is shaved, a single-use disposable razor should be used.
  • Always insist that you see your tattooist remove a new needle and tube set-up from a sealed envelope immediately prior to your tattoo. (Note: When reusable equipment is used it must be thoroughly cleaned and then sterilized in an autoclave).
  • Be certain you see your tattooist pour a new ink supply into a new disposable container.
  • The tattooist should cover the tattooed skin with a bandage and provide written and verbal aftercare instructions.

For more information on tattoo safety visit the New York State Department of Health website at www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/bbp/bodyart/. If you have additional questions regarding tattoo safety contact the Broome County Health Department at 607.778.3911.

05/01/2008 - 1:46pm