Unsanitary home-based tattoo operation ordered to close; follow-up testing recommended

August 19, 2016

GRANDE PRAIRIE – Alberta Health Services (AHS) is advising all individuals who received tattoo services from the operator of Noeyez Tattooz, David Testawich, 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. Albert de Villiers, Medical Officer of Health for the North Zone of AHS.

“This particular home-based tattoo operation did not have these proper sterilization or sanitation 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 at Noeyez Tattooz or from the operator, David Testawich, should call their physician to arrange for simple, confidential testing for these viruses. This testing will determine whether the individual has been infected. Individuals may also call Health Link with any questions or concerns.

AHS ordered the closure of Noeyez Tattooz in Edmonton on August 11, 2016. This closure order remains in effect and will not be lifted until such time that the operator has addressed all violations noted in the closure order, and is capable of providing tattoo services in accordance with all regulations and legislation in Alberta. The operator is not permitted to offer tattoo services while the closure order is in place.

AHS is aware that Mr. Testawich was operating in private residences in Grande Prairie until around November 2015.

“It is the responsibility of all tattoo facility operators – whether residential or otherwise – to ensure all regulations are met and operations are compliant,” says Dr. de Villiers.

“This applies not only before opening a tattoo operation but also while operating, always. Our health inspectors support these businesses to operate safely. We are here as a resource.”

All Albertans are reminded to confirm that a tattoo operation is routinely inspected before receiving any tattoo services, from any facility. To confirm that any North Zone tattoo or piercing operation is inspected and approved, individuals can call North Zone Environmental Public Health at 780-513-7517.

For further advice on selecting a safe tattoo facility, Albertans are encouraged to see AHS’ Think Before You Ink Checklist.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four 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.

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For media inquiries, contact:

Kerry Williamson
AHS Communications
780-613-8822 / 780-905-5890