It’s rare when different groups affected by one law agree with it but this just might be one where everyone agrees its critical.
The stroke of the artist’s needle and the facility it belongs to will now be closely watched thanks to the stroke of a pen on the governor’s desk.
A new state law will give the unregulated tattoo and body piercing industry rules to follow and local health inspectors will drop by those shops once a year.
“It will minimize the spread of blood borne pathogens like HIV, hepatitis those will be minimized because the facilities will be regulated,” said Dorothy David of the Peoria City/County Health Department.
Dermatologist Carl Soderstrom of Peoria say it’s about time.
“I see recent tattoos very often because people want them quickly soon after they get one. I see one out of 20 that has some irritation or some kind of infection out of that group so its not all of the tattoos by any means but it is a number that is significant,” Dr. Soderstrom.
If it’s not done properly or in a clean facility, he says the blood-drawing techniques can cause hepatitis, staph infections and even AIDS- all of which can lead to death.
“We’ve never been opposed to it, we always thought it should be something down,” said Nic Losen of Twisted Vision tattoos and piercing shop in Peoria Heights
Surprisingly, several local tattoo shops are on board with the law.
Losen says if the business is a legitimate one, owners will not fear a visit from inspectors.
“Everything is clean and sterile, we’re that way now,” said Losen. “There’s a lot of tattoo shops, or not shops, but people tattooing out of their homes- that’s not very sterile and that will shut that down pretty quick,” he continued.
He told us metal implements are put in a machine that sterilizes them, and one-time use needles are disposed of in a sharps container.
His methods are a start and inspectors and doctors hope to see more of that soon, for the safety of all.
The state says it’s working on a check list for inspectors.
Once that’s approved, inspectors will get the go-ahead and start visiting shops.
If one shop is found to be in violation, there will be fines- up to $1,000 a day.
Also, some local health departments say they need money to send their inspectors out.
The state says 75% of the fines collected will go to the local health departments.