What are Bloodborne Pathogens?

Bloodborne pathogens are infectious microorganisms present in human blood that can cause diseases in humans. Some common ones include Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV. These can be transmitted through contaminated needles and other tattoo equipment if not properly sterilized.

Why is Bloodborne Pathogen Training for Tattoo Artists So Important?

  1. Safety First: First and foremost, the training ensures that tattoo artists understand the risks associated with their job. This understanding is crucial for their safety and the safety of their clients. No one wants to contract a life-altering disease from getting a tattoo.
  2. Professionalism: An artist who has undergone bloodborne pathogen training for tattoo artists demonstrates a commitment to their profession. This training indicates that they prioritize both their craft and the wellbeing of their clients. It’s an added feather in their cap when it comes to building trust and rapport.
  3. Regulations & Compliance: Many states require tattoo artists to have this training as a part of their licensing process. It’s not just a “good to have”; in many places, it’s a “must-have”.
  4. Peace of Mind: For clients, knowing that their tattoo artist is well-versed in safety protocols provides a sense of security. It can be the difference between choosing one artist over another.

Now, you may ask, why should it be free?

Well, the idea behind free bloodborne pathogen training for tattoo artists is to ensure that cost is not a barrier. Everyone in the industry should have access to this vital information.

With a free and accessible training, there’s a higher chance that more artists will take it, leading to a safer environment for both artists and clients.

How to prevent bloodborne pathogens from spreading in a tattoo shop

1. Sterilization of Equipment and Proper Disposal:

Blood borne pathogens are spread through equipment that has been soiled with body fluids from an infected individual in most cases. 

Tattooists should always ensure that their tools, especially needles, are sterilized before every use. In most cases, this is achieved through autoclaving, a process involving the use of high temperature and pressure which eliminates the pathogens that are present on the equipment. 

Visible dirty materials need to be removed on instruments and preautoclaved with disinfectant solution. Disposable needles and tubes after each tattoo should be thrown into a special container for contaminated things called the sharps container. The desks, chairs and the entire work area should also be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis in order to avoid cross-contamination.

2. Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):

Therefore, the use of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment is vital to prevent the spread of bloodborne pathogens. Tattoo artists should be wearing disposal latex or nitrile gloves whenever they are setting up, tattooing, and tearing down.

These gloves function as a protection and are a preventive measure of coming into direct contact with blood or infectious body secretion. The gloves need to be changed if they get torn, changed during each client, or any point after having touched any non-sanitized surface. 

Artists should also put on protective aprons to prevent splattering during lengthy sessions or in more hazardous settings point. Mucous membranes can also be protected from contact using eye protection and face shields if there is any risk of splashes.

Image alt text: free bloodborne pathogen training for tattoo artists.

Author credit: By Technopop.tattoo – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61764629

3. Proper Hand Hygiene and Client Screening:

One simple and effective way to stop the spread of pathogens is by washing hands thoroughly and often. A tattoo artist should wash their hands when putting on new gloves and after removing them as well. 

Antibacterial soap should be used and all areas including hands and wrists have to be scrubbed for about 20 seconds. Moreover, tattoo shops can minimize the danger by applying the clients’ screening. 

Though it appears as an intrusion, it is important for clients to be asked concerning their health status, recent travels or exposure to blood borne diseases, as a primary precaution to safe guarding. In case of any doubt about the health status of a customer, it is safer for the salon staff to reschedule the appointment.

5 Commonly Asked Questions about Bloodborne Pathogen Training for Tattoo Artists

  1. Why is the training specifically targeted towards tattoo artists?

Tattoo artists frequently come into contact with blood, making it crucial for them to understand how diseases can be transmitted and how to prevent it.

  1. How long does the training typically take?

It can vary, but most online courses might take 1-3 hours, and they’re designed to be comprehensive yet concise.

  1. Is online training as effective as in-person training?

Yes, as long as the course is OSHA compliant and follows the necessary guidelines, online CPR training can be just as effective.

  1. How often should tattoo artists renew their training?

It’s recommended to renew or refresh your knowledge annually, though specific requirements might vary by state.

  1. Do clients really care about this training?

Absolutely! More clients are now doing their research and prefer artists who prioritize safety and professionalism.


Bloodborne pathogen training for tattoo artists is not just another tick on a checklist. It’s a significant commitment to safety, professionalism, and excellence in the field. By ensuring this training is free and accessible, we elevate the entire tattoo industry, making it safer and more trustworthy.

As tattoo artists, it’s our responsibility to ensure that every client leaves our studio not only with a piece of art they cherish but also with their health intact.

The path to achieving this starts with prioritizing bloodborne pathogen training for tattoo artists. Because when it comes to safety, there should be no compromises.