Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Ill Communication

February 14th, 2010 by

It’s really awful given the current popularity of tattoos and given that this is after all, 2010, that tattoo shops are still regularly closed down due to improper hygiene.  There really is no excuse for having anything less than an absolutely perfect hygiene record.  It’s little more than pure carelessness and laziness if any tattoo artist isn’t keeping up with health standards.  Aside from being dangerous, irresponsible, stupid, lazy and just plain idiotic, a tattoo artist that doesn’t follow health regulations, is most certainly not the person you want tattooing your body.

There have been a few posts here and there at Tattoo Blog regarding the closure of tattoo shops in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  Well, it seems that there’s something in the air in the Canadian province of Alberta, because now several more tattoo shops have been closed in the city of Calgary.  As of February 10th, the six (yes, SIX) tattoo shops closed down by Alberta Health Services are: Dustin Blatz Tattooing, Grave Marking Tattoo, Ill Tattoos (ill indeed), Norm’s Tattoos, Piercer Dan and Tattoo Girl.

“The home-based parlours closed by AHS did not have proper sterilization processes in place, meaning individuals who received tattoos or piercings through these operations may have been exposed to viruses such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C. and HIV,” says Dr. [Judy] MacDonald.”

I suppose there are two ways of looking at all this.  One is that health authorities in Alberta are dedicated and take an all around no-nonsense approach to the health and safety of the customers who might otherwise get tattoo work done at one of these health risk tattoo studios.  The other, and albeit less flattering perspective is that for some reason, lazy and unhygienic tattoo artists are able to open and run businesses in the first place in Alberta.

Whatever the reason for it is, the fact remains that when you are getting a tattoo, you should always, always ALWAYS do your homework first.  Alberta Health Services has provided this check list, which is a great way to help you decide what kind of place you’re thinking about getting a tattoo at:

  • Is the tattooing/piercing area separate from all dining, washroom, kitchen, lounge or sleeping areas?
  • Is the facility clean and in good repair, with smooth washable equipment and surfaces?
  • Does the facility have suitable equipment for sterilization, including an autoclave for reusable items?
  • If no, does the facility only use single use disposable equipment?
  • Is the tattoo equipment wrapped in plastic, and is the plastic changed after every client?
  • Does the facility have proper containers for the safe disposal of needles?
  • Are all linens etc. changed after every client?
  • Does staff wash hands thoroughly with soap and water at a separate dedicated hand washing sink before & after each client?
  • Does staff wear disposable gloves that are changed between every client?
  • Does staff wear clean clothing?
  • Does staff refrain from smoking, drinking and eating in the tattooing/piercing area?
  • Does the facility require you to sign a consent form prior to tattooing/piercing?
  • Does the facility provide pre and post-care instructions?
  • Does the facility require your contact information for their records?
  • Can the facility provide you with a copy of the most recent Health Inspection Report?
  • Leave a Comment

    Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.