ONCE you start you cannot stop when it comes to tattoos for many people.
But the Hastings should heed warnings to have the job done by a professional or face ugly and dangerous consequences.
Moreover, the fine for tattooing a person younger than 18 without parental consent can be up to $22,000.
Through recent inspections, North Coast Area Health and the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council caught two people carrying out backyard tattooing on family and friends.
Wildfire tattoo parlour owner Brett Barrington said people come into his business, desperate to fix botched-up backyard ink-work every week.
Mr Barrington said cleanliness and “a solid, sharp and clear” tattoo were the main benefits of getting inked legitimately.
“We have 100 per cent sterilisation and all surfaces are clean,” he said. “There’s no risk of cross-contamination, so you won’t end up with a nasty virus or infection.” Tattoo-obsessed Craig Smith, also known as Bin Rat, has been coming to the parlour for years.
Safety and cleanliness are behind Mr Smith’s decision to have tattoos done professionally.
“They tell you how to look after it properly and give tips on design,” he said.
North Coast Director of Public Health Paul Corben said tattoo parlours must be registered with the council, be kept in a clean and hygienic condition and have practices that minimise the risks of transmission of blood-borne viruses.
“Viruses like Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B and HIV are most commonly transmitted to people through blood-to-blood contact and may be contracted during tattooing if clean and sterile equipment is not used,” Mr Corben said. “Backyard tattooists may not have the ability to maintain the tattooing area in a clean and hygienic condition or to ensure the tattooing equipment is properly sterilised before use.”
It is illegal to tattoo anyone unless at a registered premise.
If you know an unregistered person tattooing people, details can be passed on to either council or Public Health Unit environmental health officer.
If you know anyone tattooing people younger than 18 without their parents’ consent, this should be reported to the NSW Department of Community Service.