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Toronto Public Health warns customers of 2 body-piercing shops

Toronto Public Health is urging customers of two body-piercing shops to get tested after finding the stores were not using proper infection control practices.

The shops are NY NY Body Piercing, located at 1700 Wilson Ave., Unit 151, and New York New York (Accessories & Body Piercing), located at 423 Queen St. West.

Anyone who received a piercing from the stores between Nov. 6, 2010 and March 1, 2011 should visit a doctor and ask to be tested for hepatitis B and C and for HIV, the public health authority said.

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"We have had no reports of infections associated with these establishments," Dr. Herveen Sachdeva, associate medical officer of health, said in a press release. "The risk is very low, but as a precaution, we are advising anyone who received [a]body piercing at one of these locations to see their doctor and get tested."

New York, New York has four shops in Toronto. Only the two listed above were part of the Toronto Public Health investigation.

Piercing and tattoo equipment should be sterile and sterilizers should be tested every two weeks to ensure they are working properly, the public health authority said.

Toronto Public Health recommended piercing and tattoo clients always check to ensure employees wash their hands, change gloves, use an antiseptic on the skin, and open sterilized packages of equipment for every client.

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