The term “surgical steel” is commonly used by jewellery manufacturers and distributors as a marketing term. Using this term creates the false illusion that their jewellery meets some sort of medical standards, when in fact it often does not meet any standards at all. When looking to be pierced, be sure that your piercer is using jewellery the meets ASTM standards.
It is your responsibility as a consumer to educate and protect yourself against substandard materials. A knowledgable and ethical piercer will gladly these facts to you upon request.