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23 submissions on proposed new tattoo guidance

The Department of Health had sought submission on plans for new ‘Tattooing and Body Piercing Infection Control Guidance’. The closing date for receipt of submissions was early this year.

“A total of 23 submissions were received from individuals and organisations,” a Department spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI).

“The document is currently being revised on foot of the views expressed in the consultation and is expected to be published later this year.”

The lack of regulation in the area was criticised in the last issue of MI by columnist Mr George Winter. “A liberal democracy is best preserved by governments enforcing laws that recognise the difference between freedom in a society and a society which is a free-for-all,” he wrote.

“The present day tattoo industry is an unregulated free-for-all.”

The Department did not comment on any plans to introduce legislation in the area. However, the spokesperson did add that the guidance document is intended to maintain standards.

“There is no specific regulation or legislation in this area but it is hoped that this guidance document will help drive high standards of infection control and prevention in this sector,” said the spokesperson.

“Specific issues covered in the draft guidance are good practice for infection control and preventing contamination, including personal hygiene and clean premises; the use of template consent forms, and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; [and] the need to provide information, instruction, training and supervision to employees on health and safety.”

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