Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Crafty Danger!

You have seen them everywhere. You will find them at office supply stores, scrapbook parties and most recently in craft stores. They are tag guns and although they can add a lot of really cool things to your cards, layouts, and paper crafts; they can also add years of heartache and illness to your life if not used correctly.

Tag guns or paper taggers as they are more commonly known to the craft world are used to attach and affix any number of items to a surface using flexible plastic "T" tags that penetrate and catch the surface of whatever you are attaching it to. The tags are widely available in a variety of colors.

The use of these fun tag guns will come at a high price for many if they are not used properly. This is because a tag gun needle stick is no different than a hypodermic needle stick! Now that I have your attention let me explain why this can be so extremely dangerous. When you accidentally prick your finger with a tag gun (which is guaranteed to happen at some time or another) you expose the needle tip to bio hazardous material, namely your blood. The pricked area usually stops bleeding after a quick second but the danger is by no means over. It is when you then share your tag gun with others that the real danger presents itself.

For instance, you are at a scrapbook party and you bring your tag gun along. You accidentally stick your finger and set it down. Someone else picks it up and uses it and sticks themselves. Yet another person uses it and does the same thing! Finally you go to use it again and stick yourself once more. You have now been exposed to the possible blood borne pathogens of the two others that just used your gun!

Blood borne pathogens can include such things as hepatitis, MRSA, HIV and AIDS! Remember, tag gun needle sticks are no different than hypodermic needle sticks. You may think that cleaning the gun with alcohol or bleach after each person would remedy the problem but you would be wrong. Tag guns have a 3 part mechanism that does not allow for them to be cleaned at all three points (the inside of the needle barrel) with a simple household cleaner. Although you can purchase specialty cleaners ; most people are not aware that they will need one when sharing their gun and they inadvertently put themselves and others at risk.

So how can you enjoy the use of a tagging gun in your arts and crafts while remaining safe at the same time? The best practice would be to never share your gun with another person. Make sure that everyone present respects your decision not to share your gun as well. The other option would be to purchase one of the specialty cleaners designed specifically for the cleaning of tag gun needles and mechanisms.

This post was very important to me as I was recently stuck by one of these guns. Later that night I began to think about it and decided to do a bit of research. I was floored by what I found and therefore wanted to share my findings with you. I have since been to the Dr. and everything has turned out fine but WOW what a scare. I urge you all to be safe, be alert, and be educated about the potential risks of using these tag guns. They can be wonderful tools for your arts and crafts when used safely and correctly.


  1. Yikes.. that was a scary post!!!! but much needed....often we just don't think about things like this, thanks for the heads up and caring enough to share, xoxo~Kathy~ @ Sweet Up-North Mornings...

  2. Thank you so much for coming by to share your experiences with me! I really appreciate your loving well wishes! It's great to have another blog friend!


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