Wednesday March 19th, 2008 @ 1:30 AM
Filed under: Uncategorized
In one of your comments on a recent modblog post:
“. . .or if they are the BioPlast that is immensely rampant within the piercing community because they don’t know any better.”
Explain? I have heard nothing but good things about Bioplast so I would love to hear what you have to say.
Pull up a spot on the rug as grandpa is gonna toke on his pipe by the fireplace in his rocker and tell a story….Ok so I ain’t nobodies Grandpa and I don’t like rocking chairs and I of course don’t smoke…But I do have a lil story to tell.
A few years ago shortly after I finished my first apprenticeship my tattoo artist and I were working towards opening up our own studio. A friend of ours had a giant two level store front and they were willing to co-own it with us and help us get it all started,etc. So in my attempt to get the piercing side sorted out, I contacted VARIOUS jewelry companies for catalogs,etc. A few companies catalogs had something called “BioPlast”…When discussing it with them they talked about how great it was, that its cheap, it can be cut to size,etc. When I asked them for any confirmation in Implant Grade Specifications or Bio-Compatibility Specifications, they were unable to provide me any. Because of this I simply decided I would not want to carry said material because if it can’t be confirmed as Implant Grade or Bio-Compatible by ISO or ASTM standards, then it should not be used for piercings.
Fast forward to today, I’m a bit older and a bit more wiser and have done more serious research into the subject. But first lets separate the misconceptions that various people have involving plastic/flexible/bendy based materials:
PTFE aka Polytetrafluoroethylene aka Teflon: This is often used in the Piercing industry and not going into the environmental damage PTFE does to the environment simply put, ptfe has a implant grade specification number: ASTM F754-00. This means if a Body Piercer is going to use PTFE, this is the specific type of PTFE they are to be using…And it should be used in a manner, that does not compromise the ASTM F754-00 standard that is given to it.
Tygon aka Silicone Tubing: Tygon is a specific trademark named product, much like Teflon is a trademarked name of PTFE. There’s various types of Silicone Tubing some might be bio-compatible while others won’t, especially in a fresh piercing. For Tygon personally I think the ideal tubing type to be used is: TYGON® S-50-HL Medical/Surgical Tubing as its fully characterized to ISO 10993 and FDA guidelines for biocompatibility. There are a couple other Tygon brands that meet the same ISO guidelines,etc, but again there’s also a few Tygon bands that DON’T meet said ISO guidelines.
This brings us to the glorious world of BioPlast.
BioPlast aka Udel Polysulfone: Their website states the following: “Bioplast” Corresponding to the current state of knowledge it represents a material, which is safe for the production of piercing jewellery as far as biocompatibility is concerned (Ref.: Technical Bulletin biocompatibility of Polysulfones for Medical Devices MD 50136 R12/99). Now in my research I have been unable to locate any confirmed documentation, just speculation. Also last to my recollection any discussion in the medical world on Bio-Compatibility,etc will not be touching on the subject of piercing jewelry and the safety measures surrounding it.
In my own independent research of Udel Polysulfones I have found there to be a large variety of usages for said material: plumbing, medical world,etc. However when it comes to the medical world we need to observe exactly how Udel Polysulfones are being used. The following website lists Udel Polysulfones being used for: surgical trays, nebulizers, humidifiers; note nothing is listed in regards to Udel Polysulfone being internally inserted into the body (ie: a body piercing). Also when researching through the ASTM and ISO standards for Implant or Bio-Compatible capabilities, you will not find Udel Polysulfones listed at all.
Yes Bioplast is resistant to heat and steam, thus meaning it can be sterilized. But just because something can be sterilized, does not always mean it should be inserted into the body in respect to a body piercing, especially in a fresh piercing. Also and finally another lil thing is that the majority of BioPlast sold is for the Externally Threaded body jewelry line, as most piercers tend to just want to cram the beads onto the BioPlast piece. This of course makes it an externally threaded piece of jewelry and because its crudely threaded on, makes the threading on the post a bit rough. They do make special tools to create the external threading and even internal, but I’ve yet to see or hear of a piercer using them. Also as for their Internal/Push-In style of jewelry, I know I personally often have people coming in looking for new beads as their beads simply fell out.
Now I’m not going to say it can’t be used, as I believe it can. But I personally believe the avenue in which it can be used for, is more for troubleshooting problematic piercings. So by saying that I personally believe it should be a last resort attempt to salvage a piercing and troubleshoot the situation to correct it, not to be used for initial fresh piercings.
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