Kerala

Unauthorised tattooing continues to flourish

Local bodies have been asked set up committee to issue licences to tattooing facilities.  

The State Government’s bid to regulate unauthorised and unhealthy tattooing in public places seems to have not hit the target. People not trained in tattooing continue to do the job using unhygienic needles, exposing their clients to serious infectious diseases.

It was on April 29 this year that the Health and Family Welfare Department issued an order making a licence mandatory for those engaged in tattooing. It was pointed out that unauthorised tattooing was prevalent on temple premises and festival grounds, and in street corners and shops.

The order had said that “because of the use of same needle that is not disinfected and same ink on many people, there is a chance of infection and serious illnesses that could also spread among others.” The order quoted a report of the Director of Health Services that said there was a possibility of allergic reactions, swelling on where the needle injected, skin tuberculosis, and cancer. Hepatitis B, Hepatitis V, HIV and tetanus may spread because of the use of unhygienic needles and syringes, the report said.

Magician Shiju Manohar Kottiyam, on whose complaint the Government had issued the order, claimed on Saturday that no attempt was being made to enforce it.

The order said that only licenced agencies were now allowed to engage in tattooing. The ink used should be approved by the Drugs Control Authority. Those who do the job should wear gloves and remove it after the job.

The needles and the tubes containing ink should be in disposable or sealed labelled packet. All non-disposable equipment should be disinfected. Those who do the job should take Hep-B vaccine and the body part should be thoroughly cleaned before and after. Cleanliness should be ensured in the place where tattooing is being done.

Local bodies were asked to set up a committee comprising their secretary, medical officer, health supervisor or health inspector, food inspector, district drug analyst, and an officer from the pollution control board to issue licences.

But many officials are blissfully unaware of this order itself. Untrained people are still seen engaged in tattooing in street corners and some major beaches. Rarely steps are being taken to inspect if all the tattooing shops have the required licence.


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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 1:42:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/unauthorised-tattooing-continues-to-flourish/article37736643.ece

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