BBC News (04.27.13)
Aids Weekly Plus
The United Kingdom’s Local Government Association (LGA) warned that unlicensed tattooists and tattoo parlors put customers at risk for HIV, hepatitis, and permanent scarring because they use substandard equipment and fail to sterilize equipment properly. According to Mehboob Khan, chairperson of LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, unlicensed tattooists lure customers away from licensed tattoo parlors with cheap prices. Unregulated tattooists, who work in homes, pubs, clubs, and garden sheds, also are unlikely to ask about their client’s age or medical history.
Khan recommended that anyone planning to have body art seek out a registered tattooist; anyone who has used an unlicensed tattooist should consult a physician and report the unlicensed parlor to local authorities. Licensed tattooist Kevin Paul urged people with tattoo equipment to register with local authorities and to follow health and safety guidelines. The United Kingdom has more than 1,500 licensed tattoo parlors, and approximately 3 in 10 persons ages 25–34 in the United Kingdom have at least one tattoo. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act, unlicensed tattooists may lose their equipment and face unlimited fines and up to two years of imprisonment.