After busting an unlicensed home-based tattoo parlour in an east London residence, Middlesex-London Health Unit officials are cautioning Londoners about some of the risks of getting inked from uninspected locales.
Acting on a tip, MLHU public health inspectors visited a Shelbourne St. home in the Glen Cairn area, finding a resident providing tattoo services “without having adequate infection prevention and control measures in place.”
The Health Unit is in the “preliminary” stage of its investigation, which aims to assess whether any infectious transmissions could have taken place due to equipment and hygiene issues.
Though rare, the advisory from the MLHU said that “unsafe practices may result in the transmission of blood-borne infections, such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, as well as common skin infections.”
The health agency inspects licensed tattoo and piercing business annually, and maintains a list of premises for those interested in getting their ink done at an approved facility.
“While getting body art is a personal decision, anyone considering getting a tattoo has to make sure their health and safety aren’t at risk when they get inked,” a MLHU spokesperson said. “Home-based tattoo services advertised on social media or classified ad websites like Kijiji and Craigslist are not typically inspected by the Health Unit, or licensed by the City of London. Therefore, infection control measures cannot be ensured as there can be no way of determining if minimum safety standards are being met.”
The operate of the Shelbourne business was issued a cease and desist notice by the Health Unit. Individuals who do not comply can be subject to financial penalties.