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"Risk from hair clippers and papper holders?"
Sep 5, 1996

For a long time I have wondered why razor blades are no longer used at hair cutting shops, and but clippers still are. It is very easy to puncture somones skin with electic clippers, and than do the same to the next client... Why is this less risky than useing razor blades?I work in a restraunt that uses those damm order holder that have a stick that you puncture through the orders, so the orders don't fly all over the place. Recently a waitress nailed herself on one, puncturing her finger, and a few mintues later I cut my arm on it. There was no visible blood on the stick. What kind of risk from exposure is their from envirmental surfaces like this? If their is risk involved why isn't better information available about the use of devices like this. I see that they recommend one doesn't share nail clippers.. If the AIDS various dies in the envirment, why are nail clippers a problem??Thanks much..

Response from Dr. Cohen

There has never been a case of HIV transmission in the settings you describe. Nor have I ever heard of the recommendation about not sharing nail clippers, which have also never been known to transmit HIV. In fact, there has never even been a case of transmission from an HIV-infected patient to a surgeon even after the surgeon sticks himself with a suture needle. Those kind of patient-to-doctor transmissions almost always involve accidents with a hollow-bore needle (the kind that gets connected to a syringe) that contains blood.

I suppose you could construct a hypothetical scenario in which any of the devices you mention could transmit HIV, but it would require quite a stretch of the imagination. Since it has never happened, there is no justification for banning innocent objects from the workplace.

By the way, HIV or no HIV, I'm staying away from any salon where it is "very easy to puncture somone's skin with electric clippers, and then do the same to the next client."



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