Identifying a Safe Tattoo Parlor|
Other than the use of Universal Procedures and laws requiring that minors be tattooed only with parental permission, there are few regulations covering tattooing. Tattoo parlors must be licensed; this happens when artists qualify by completing a health department course on infectious disease transmission and passing an exam, but businesses arenít regularly inspected. (Legalization allows anyone to acquire a machine, get a license and start tattooing whether they have any artistic ability or not -- a situation that tattoo artists object to.) Here are some basic steps you can take to help ensure that youíre choosing a safe tattoo parlor:
- Look around to see if the studio is clean and professional. That says a lot!
- Ask questions: Is there an autoclave? Are the needles and other materials single-use? Are EPA-approved disinfectants used? Are gloves being worn? (Professional tattoo artists wonít mind the questions.)
- Play watchdog with the tattoo artist to be sure safety measures are being followed in the application of your tattoo.
- Make sure all needles are opened in front of you.
- Membership in professional organizations is not required, but artists who participate are probably better informed about trends, innovations and safety issues.