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Wisconsin: License Ensures Tattoos Applied Safely

March 30, 2012

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 Kachel.

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 somewhere else."

Back to other news for March 2012

Adapted from:
Wisconsin State Journal (Madison)
03.14.2012; Tim Damos

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
More HIV Prevention Policy News on Midwest U.S. States

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