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Safe Body Art Campaign Timely as Health Unit Warns Against Home-Based Tattoos

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London, ON - While the choice to get a tattoo is a personal one, anyone considering body art must ensure their health and safety aren’t at risk when they get inked. Through the London Transit Commission, the Health Unit’s Get Good Clean Art awareness campaign is currently on city streets, reminding people to only get tattoos and body art from inspected shops. Home-based tattoo services advertised on social media or websites like kijiji and Craigslist, aren’t typically inspected by the Health Unit, and often aren’t licensed.

The Get Good Clean Art campaign is timely as Health Unit Inspectors visited an East London residence in the Trafalgar and Clark Road-area this week after receiving a complaint. Inspectors were unable to determine if appropriate infection control measures were in place and therefore, are concerned about the potential for blood-borne infections.

“We want people who got a tattoo at this, or any other unlicensed premises to contact us so that we can assist them with getting the proper testing done,” says Amy Pavletic, Public Health Inspector with the Middlesex-London Health Unit.

The Health Unit recommends clients who received a tattoo at a private residence in the Trafalgar and Clark Road area get hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV testing done now, and again 6 months from the day of their last tattoo. It may be impossible to determine if any positive blood tests resulted from tattoos done there, or if they are due to past exposures.

While they wait for the results of testing done 6 months after their last tattoo, clients are urged to take steps to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. These include using a condom during sex and not sharing injection drug equipment, razors, nail clippers, toothbrushes or other personal items. Though the risk of spreading blood-borne infections from inadequate sterilization of tattooing equipment is considered low, infections may go unrecognized because some people do not have initial symptoms.

Members of the public are strongly advised to only receive tattoos and body piercings from premises inspected by the Health Unit. Clients should ask operators to see the annual inspections reports issued by the Health Unit before getting their tattoo.

For more information, please contact the Middlesex-London Health Unit at 519-663-5317 ext. 2330 or visit the Health Unit online at:

Media Contact:
Dan Flaherty, Communications Manager, Middlesex-London Health Unit, 519-663-5317 ext.2469 or 519-617-0570 (cell.)

Amy Pavletic, Public Health Inspector at the Middlesex-London Health Unit

Tags: news, media release, tattoo