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New regulations means tattoo lovers don’t have to wait a year to donate blood – Lincoln Journal Star

Posted in Tattoo Shop on Jul 30, 2017

Body-art enthusiast Matt Greenlee got a tattoo a month and a half ago at Iron Brush Tattoo parlor, a shop he frequents regularly.

But if the 20-year-old Lincoln resident wanted to donate blood, old regulations would have forced Greenlee to wait.

However, since the start of 2017, the Nebraska Community Blood Bank has reduced the deferral from 12 months to seven days for people donating blood after receiving a tattoo from a licensed shop.

“It made sense for the time period that those rules were made in, but things have changed equipment is sterilized now,” Greenlee said.

The change in policy is in line with new standards from the Federal Drug Administration that went into effect this year.

That means Greenlee was able to donate blood at a blood drive hosted by the Blood Bank on Saturday outside Iron Brush Tattoo, joining nearly a hundred other donors.

The previous deferral period of 12 months was a precaution against contaminated needles used to draw tattoos that could spread disease.

But in states, including Nebraska, that license and regulate tattoo parlors, needles and other equipment are required to be sterile, meaning the deferral period could be shortened to seven days.

“This is a fantastic policy,” said Tyson Schaffert, owner of Iron Brush Tattoo. “We have such a loyal group of clients, so this is a pretty good deal all around.”

The shorter deferral period only applies to licensed states, where the only legal means of getting a tattoo is through a regulated parlor.

Schaffert and a group of tattoo artists helped draft some of the county and state regulations in the early 2000s that now apply to tattoo parlors in Lincoln.

Processes to eliminate blood-borne pathogens from equipment, for example, were introduced through these regulations.

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department and the state issue licenses and inspect and regulate tattoo parlors.

Blood bank donor recruiter Karri Lundeen said a lot of people don’t know about the rule changes.

“We hear it so often that I can’t donate because I got a tattoo recently,” Lundeen said. “That wide myth has prevented people from donating blood.”

The blood bank still runs numerous tests on all donated blood, closing loopholes on people who’ve received a tattoo from an unlicensed shop.

Schaffert thinks more people will donate blood now that the deferral period has been relaxed, and encourages his clients to do so.

“If it has anything to do with helping out the community, we’re going to do it,” he said.

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New regulations means tattoo lovers don’t have to wait a year to donate blood – Lincoln Journal Star

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