Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Toronto Steps Up

June 7th, 2011 by

Good news for those of us out there who maintain an interest in keeping up the push to have tattoo studios registered with health authorities.  One more city has joined the ranks of the registered as Toronto, Canada decides that it’s time for the city’s tattoo studios to be organized and accountable for the work that they do.

‘Health Canada provides what’s called infection control guidelines and cities have to inspect all spas and tattoo parlours once a year. But outside of these annual inspections, it’s a self-regulating industry and Toronto Public Health has decided that’s not good enough.’

Though this new regulation, which will most likely cost tattooists $300 for the first year of registration and “a few hundred dollars” each subsequent year has yet to become law, it should only be a matter of time before it does.  I wasn’t exactly surprised when looking at the comments below this article to find that most people were relieved that such a regulation was finally being adopted.  It’s actually kind of mind boggling why this isn’t done everywhere right now.  I mean, if I had to venture to guess, I would say that the vast majority of people in the tattoo industry are in favour of something like this and I would probably say that %100 of the general public also supports it.  It’s kind of a no brainer.

‘Currently in Toronto, only hairdressers and barber shops have to be licensed. Public Health believes licensing tattoo and piercing studios will help reduce the spread of diseases such as hepatitis.

Part of the problem is that health inspectors can currently only inspect known spa and tattoo parlour locations.

“We aren’t necessarily aware of them all,” said Barbara Yaffe, director of communicable disease control for Toronto Public Health. “Sometimes we find out about them through a complaint, at which point it’s late.”‘

Furthermore, governments stand to profit from this and we all know how much governments love to take money from people.  If I had one complaint about this whole thing it’s that I think the renewal fees they are proposing are a bit steep.  If the license costs $300 for the first year and subsequent years cost “a few hundred dollars” to renew that license, doesn’t that just sound like tattooists will have to annually dish out around $300 to stay registered?  What about simply charging less to renew after the initial year is over?  Or what about a system based on points in which the more points each studio receives during a yearly inspection, the less they have to pay to renew their licenses each year?

Whatever is decided in the end with regards to licensing fees, this is a great step forward.  Now if only other health authorities in Canada would follow suit.  Actually, now if only other health authorities around the world would follow suit.  All in due time, I guess…

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