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New tattoo guidelines imminent

There are currently no guidelines tailored for this sector. The new guidelines aim to ensure that high standards are maintained, in light of the huge growth in tattoo and piercing outlets and the rising number of people who choose to have tattoos and piercing, according to the Department of Health. “The Department of Health are currently finalising guidelines on infection control for the tattooing and body-piercing industry,” a Department spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI).

“The purpose of the document is to provide guidance to the industry in the absence of sector-specific regulation.

“It is intended to publish the guidelines later this year. There is no plan to introduce regulation or legislation in this area at this present time.

“This document sets out best practice in infection control for the tattooing and body-piercing industry and is aimed at achieving the highest standards of infection control and prevention in this sector.”

A public consultation period on the draft new guidelines, published last November, took place earlier in the year.

“A total of 23 submissions were received during the public consultation,” said the spokesperson. “Submissions were received from the tattooing and body-piercing industry, State agencies and non-Governmental organisations and individuals.”

Specific issues covered in the draft guidelines included:

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 to employees on health and safety; and

Avoiding the use of local anaesthetic injections or prescription-only topical creams.

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