Questions to ask before you get a tattoo

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 8, 2014

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, there has never been a documented case of HIV or hepatitis C transmission from sanitary tattooing or body piercing. However, unregulated tattooing and piercing, like in Japan, may lead to exposure to these diseases. The CDC advises that people wanting a tattoo or piercing should go to a professional and licensed shop.

Questions to ask:

  • Is the equipment sterile? Some tools and equipment can be reused. Reusable tools and equipment should be cleaned and sterilized to remove viruses and bacteria.
  • Are single-use disposable needles and razors used? Disposable piercing needles, tattoo needles and razors should be used on one person and then thrown away. Reusing needles or razors is not safe.
  • Has the tattoo ink been used on other people? Shared ink is not safe.

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