New guidelines introduced to tattoo parlours
TATTOO artists and body piercers will have to abide by new legislation to adopt safety standards in the industry.
Guidance has been launched by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) to provide practical information for local authorities and businesses to adopt safe standards of practice.
The news comes as the industry convention Tattoo Royale takes place at Cheltenham Racecourse this weekend.
Currently there are no national standards and the guidance meets a need to promote safety as health risks can arise from improper practice, particularly poor infection control practice.
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Health risks include blood-borne viruses like hepatitis B, C and HIV.
But Cheltenham tattoo apprentice Tom Voyce feels the majority of cases come from a lack of care by the customer.
The 20-year-old, who works at Third Eye Tattoos in Cheltenham High Street, said: "It is very good to give out guidance – that's the way it should be.
"It seems very easy to get a licence as a tattoo artist as long as you have a licensed premises.
"But, as far as I can tell, anyone can get one as it stands.
"Infections can be caused by, for example, working the tattoo too much that it causes a open wound, but in most cases, customers don't care for them properly.
"A good tattoo will heal within a few days, but if you are seeing an infection later, it is most likely an infection from outside."
The guidance was developed by experienced individuals working with the tattoo and body piercing industry to draw up regulations.
Ian Gray, principal policy officer for CIEH, said the guidance was all about safety for the public.
"The use of this guidance will help to ensure the health and safety of both clients and operators and that tattooing and skin piercing practitioners will be operating in compliance with legal requirements," he said.
"By making this tool kit available to both businesses and the local authority officers responsible for the regulation of their activities, we are creating a level playing field."