August 8, 2013

Tattoos in illegal South Wales back street parlours could kill, warn health experts

Cardiff council launches education campaign to highlight importance of using trained tattooists rather than 'scratchers'.

blogger_HCVThe number of illegal tattooists operating from back street parlours with dangerous and unhygienic equipment is feared to be on the rise in South Wales.

The amateur tattooists – known as “scratchers” – are thought to be inking adults after a cheap tattoo and under-age children.

Health experts warned of the dangers of contracting blood-borne viruses – such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV – and told how blood-poisoning caused by dirty needles can kill.

Following the reported rise, Cardiff council has launched an education campaign aimed at schoolchildren and youngsters to highlight the importance of using a trained tattoo artist.

It comes after local authorities in Wales began to use new powers which enable them to shutdown illegal operations and seize and destroy the equipment they find.

In March this year, Andrew “Scratcher” Ryan was caught working illegally from an unhygienic room at his home in Llanrumney.

And in January last year, 29-year-old Ian Andrew Davies, of Rhymney, was fined £200 after he admitted two offences of undertaking the practice of tattooing while not being registered.

Public Health Wales said using an illegal tattooist greatly increases the risk of developing health problems.

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