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28 April 2014, 08:06
Illegal tattoo artists, known as 'scratchers', are putting people's live at risk in the East Midlands.
Mansfield Councillor Mick Barton has told capitalfm.com they're getting more and more complaints and they seem to be setting up all over Nottinghamshire.
They're working out of their bedrooms and advertising on social media sites.
A former prisoner was even found to be using ink from a printer cartridge on clients. Ink from printers contains heavy metals and is not sterile, resulting in a significant risk of blood poisoning and infection which can be disfiguring or life threatening.
'An new needle is not enough for a sterile environment'
Portfolio Holder for Public Protection at Mansfield District Council, Councillor Mick Barton:
'It is essential that premises are licensed, so that we can ensure that tattoos are carried out safely. Just using a new needle each time is not enough to ensure a clean and sterile environment.
'A tattoo is for life and you should not assume you can remove it, as it is not always possible. Check out the quality of the tattooist's work before making a decision and ensure that he or she is licensed to carry out their trade.'
Legitimate tattooists and premises are registered with the Council, who check that the tattoos are being carried out in a clean and sterile environment. If you are unsure as to whether a tattooist is licensed, you can check with the Council's Environmental Health team, who can confirm whether the person is legitimate.