Public Health Warns Barber Shops Against Re-Using Razors

By Ryan McGreal
Published January 17, 2010

Hamilton's Department of Public Health has issued a warning for Hamilton barbers about reusing razors, after a barber was discovered re-using used razor blades to shave clients without proper cleaning and disinfection.

Public Health recommends against re-using razors between clients due to the risk of transferring blood-borne infections, like hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. If barber does re-use a razor, they must ensure that the razors are properly cleaned and disinfected between uses.

According to Fiona Kouyoumdjian, MD MPH, of Public Health, the Department issued an order on January 15 to Vincent's Barber Shop "to require that they comply with infection control standards, specifically to ensure adequate cleaning and disinfection of any razors which they are reusing."

She added that Public Health is "also concerned that other barbershops are reusing razors without adequate cleaning and disinfection, or that other barbershops may have done so in the past."

Public Health performs routine inspections of barber shops at least once a year, or more frequently in response to specific concerns about unsafe practices.

While there have been no documented infections in Hamilton due to re-used barber shop razors, such diseases can go unnoticed in the absence of immediate symptoms. Many people who contract blood-borne diseases never determine how they contracted them.

Public Health advises members of the public to request that barbers use a new disposable razor blade.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan wrote a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. His articles have also been published in The Walrus, HuffPost and Behind the Numbers. He maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.

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By LA HIP (anonymous) | Posted January 18, 2010 at 17:01:25

For updated information on hepatitis B as well as announcements of free screenings and support group meetings, check out the Facebook page for the Los Angeles Hepatitis Intervention Project (LA HIP) at or follow us at

LA HIP is a project of the Asian Pacific Liver Center of St. Vincent Medical Center

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