Despite being painted with an unsanitary brush, the owner of one of seven home-style tattoo parlours recently shut down is applauding Alberta Health Services.
Outlaw Tattoo was shut down on Nov. 29 for being an unapproved tattoo parlour, but has since remediated the concerns and re-opened Jan. 8, according to the AHS.
Owner Jeff Barker was stunned the shop was named yesterday as one of seven shut down recently.
“It was surprising to hear since we already fixed the concerns and re-opened, but I understand,” he said. “I applaud the health authority for their efforts because we take our clients’ safety very seriously, and others should as well.”
Barker explained the shop simply had to install a separate stainless steel sink for clients to wash their hands in, which they did as soon as they were shut down in November.
“Our clients know we are a clean and sterile shop — we only used needles and equipment once and most people say they come here because we surpass safety expectations.”
Six other shops have been shut down since November for being unapproved, and AHS deputy medical officer of health Judy MacDonald urges anyone who has visited any home shop to get tested for blood-borne viruses.
“They did not have proper sterilization processes in place, and individuals who received tattoos or piercings through these operations may have been exposed to viruses such as Hepatitis B and C, and HIV,” MacDonald said.
Steve Peace, owner of Immaculate Concept, said he is frustrated unapproved shops may give the industry a black eye.
“Tattoos have been trying to come out of the gutter for 100 years and, pretty much, we’re finally there. The guys at home aren’t really following the rules,” he said, adding he believes there are up to 100 home shops.