Tattoo operation clients require testing
August 7, 2013
LETHBRIDGE – Alberta Health Services (AHS) is advising all individuals who received tattoos at Ink Addiction (Second floor, 1506 - 2 Avenue S. Lethbridge) to be tested for viruses that can be spread through unsanitary tattoo procedures.
“To prevent the spread of infection from one person to another, equipment used in tattooing must be cleaned, disinfected and sterilized according to health standards,” says Dr. Ada Bennett, Medical Officer of Health – South Zone. “Ink Addiction in Lethbridge did not have these proper sterilization processes in place, meaning individuals who received tattoos through this operation may have been exposed to viruses including Hepatitis B and C, and HIV.”
Anyone who received tattoos from the Ink Addiction operation between September 1, 2012 and July 25, 2013 should contact Alberta Health Services at 587-220-5753 or 403-388-6664 to arrange for simple, confidential testing. This testing will determine whether an individual has been infected.
Ink Addiction voluntarily closed on July 25, 2013. Because the operator was unable to provide AHS with a complete list of client contacts requested, AHS was required to notify at-risk clients via this public advisory.
Ink Addiction was permitted to reopen on July 30, under a set of conditions put in place by AHS public health inspectors. These conditions will protect clients from exposure to illness. As such, individuals who received a tattoo at this facility on or after July 30, 2013 are not considered at risk, and do not need to call AHS to arrange for testing.
Inspectors will continue to regularly monitor this facility, to ensure compliance with all regulations and conditions.
“It is the facility’s responsibility to ensure all regulations are met; however, in addition to educating operators, the inspections completed by our health inspectors will also support this business to operate safely,” says Dr. Bennett.
Prior to receiving a tattoo, all Albertans are reminded to ask any tattoo operation for a copy of the facility’s most recent Health Inspection Report.
To confirm that any tattoo operation is inspected and approved, individuals can also call AHS Environmental Public Health. In South Zone, call 403-388-6690. Closure orders issued by AHS are also posted online at: www.albertahealthservices.ca/eph.asp.
For general health information and advice, including about tattoos, call Health Link Alberta at 1-866-408-LINK (5465).
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than 3.9 million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.