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October 13, 1999

A New Potential Hazard of Ear Piercing?

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;282(14):1332. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-282-14-jbk1013

To the Editor: The MediSystem (J Hewitt Inc, Irvine, Calif) device is commonly used to pierce ears, as we discovered when our 10-year-old daughter announced she would like to have her ears pierced.

This device appears to be similar to a device for capillary blood sampling that was associated with an outbreak of hepatitis B.1 The instructions for cleaning the MediSystem reusable gun are as follows: "Use MediSystem Pierced Ear Antiseptic to moisten a cotton ball or tissue. Then clean the clasp retainers, stud holder, face of the instrument, idler and the top of the positioning slide with the soaked cotton ball or tissue." The ingredients in the "Pierced Ear Antiseptic" are benzalkonium chloride, water, propylene glycol, octoxynol 9, edetate disodium, benzoyl alcohol, and monobasic sodium phosphate.

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