Wisconsin State Journal (Madison) (03.14.12) - Friday, March
Area health officials are warning residents against getting
tattoos from unlicensed inkers, saying state-mandated health
and safety standards minimize infection risks.
To receive licensure from the Wisconsin Department of Health
Services, tattoo artists must be educated in infection-control
practices. Establishments that provide on-site tattooing are
subject to inspections from health officials.
Though rogue inkers may offer lower prices, people who obtain
tattoos from them risk exposure to HIV and hepatitis C, said
Matt Kachel, health technician with the South Central
Environmental Health Consortium. "These are diseases a person
may contract and not know about it for a long time," he said.
Sauk County health officials say they have received numerous
reports recently of unlicensed tattooers and "tattoo parties,"
in which inkers set up shop for a one-time gathering.
"They're not always easy to catch because they know what
they're doing is illegal, so they keep it discrete," said
According to Kachel, there is a way to ensure safety when
visiting a tattoo artist: "Ask to see their license. If they
can't produce it in an instant, you probably want to go