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Tattoo and piercing guidelines to be introduced to prevent infection in parlours

The department of health said it wants to ensure high standards as an increasing number of people are choosing to have tattoos and piercings.

Image: piercing image via Shutterstock

THE DEPARTMENT OF Health is publishing draft guidelines for the first time for tattoo and body piercing parlours to advise on how to prepare customers for procedures and to maintain good hygiene.

In a statement today the department said the aim is to “ensure that high standards are maintained in the sector in light of the huge growth in tattoo and piercing outlets, and the rising number of people who choose to have tattoos and piercing”.

It noted tattooing and piercing is performed without incident in the vast majority of cases but it is important that customers understand the risks involved. Practitioners are already required to comply with existing legislation but there are currently no specific guidelines tailored for this sector.

The department is now seeking the public’s view of the guidelines and has launched a consultation process.

Specific issues covered in the draft guidelines are:

  • Good practice for infection control and preventing contamination, including personal hygiene and clean premises;
  • The use of template consent forms, and aftercare advice leaflets to clients;
  • The need to provide information, instruction, training and supervision on to employees on health and safety;
  • Avoiding the use of local anaesthetic injections or prescription only topical creams.

Full details of the consultation will be available on the department’s website next week and the deadline for submissions is 15 January 2016.

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