Tattoo shops are regularly inspected but some underground shops continue to operate under the radar.
If you’re thinking about getting a tattoo, call the Eastern Ontario Health Unit. You can ask if the Health Unit is aware of the tattoo shop and if it has been inspected. “It’s so important to get the facts before you get your tattoo or piercing. If you go to a non-inspected establishment, you could be putting yourself at risk for bloodborne diseases like Hepatitis B, C and HIV”, explains Linda Cléroux, Coordinator, Control of Infectious Disease at the Eastern Ontario Health Unit.
Here are few other tips to consider when getting a tattoo. Does the operator:
- use only disposable, single-use needles
- use a disposable needle out of an unopened package with the seal still attached
- dispose of the used needle
- disinfect the skin before procedures
- have an autoclave (if reusable needles are being used) so that you know the equipment is being sterilized
- give aftercare instructions and a number to call if there is a problem