Although implant standards address biocompatibility of a given material when used for surgical implants, they cannot be directly applied to the use or required finish for body jewellery.
Agencies that determine these designations and standards do so for both material quality and end usage. Implants rest permanently against internal tissue unless surgically removed or replaced, and are sometimes designed for bone or tissue adhesion. Healing piercings, however, form tissue against the smooth non-adhesive surface of the jewellery, and this jewellery can be changed when appropriate. For these reasons we list designation compliance as it applies to material content only; the finish requirements are described separately below.
Products with an ISO or ASTM designation are so noted and a statement specifying the finish requirements particular to body jewellery has been added. In addition, several materials designated for applications other than implants have been proven through historical and practical application to be suitably biocompatible for initial piercing.
UKAPP Minimum Standard for Jewellery for Initial Piercings is as follows:
- Titanium (Ti6Al4V ELI) that is ASTM F136 compliant or ISO 5832-3 compliant
- Titanium that is ASTM F67 compliant
- Titanium (Ti6Al7Nb) that is ASTM F1295
- Solid 14 karat or higher nickel and cadmium free yellow, white, or rose gold
- Solid nickel-free platinum alloy
- Niobium (Nb)
- Fused quartz glass, lead-free borosilicate or lead-free soda-lime glass
- Polymers (plastics) as follows:
- Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) that is ASTM F754 compliant
- For body jewellery purposes, surfaces and ends must be smooth, free of nicks, scratches, burrs, polishing compounds and metals must have a consistent mirror finish.
- All threaded or press-fit jewellery must have internal tapping (no threads on exterior of posts).
- Metals must have a consistent mirror finish on surfaces that frequently come in contact with the tissue.
- All jewellery used for initial piercing on people above the age of 12 must be ASTM F2999 compliant.
- All jewellery used for initial piercing on people ages 12 and under must be ASTM F2923 compliant.