A WARNING over the risk of using unregistered tattooists and piercers in Stratford district has been issued.
Officials at Stratford District Council (SDC) say as more people opt to get piercings or tattoos, going to unregistered places could lead to deadly conditions such as HIV or hepatitis.
The warning comes as the council reveals its suspicions over unregistered operators in the district.
The council’s environmental health officers regularly visit registered premises to monitor compliance, ensure hygiene standards are met and equipment is sterilised correctly.
In contrast, unregistered tattooists may operate in unhygienic conditions with poor quality equipment.
Poorly sterilised equipment or corner-cutting hygiene requirements can increase risks of scarring, an infection or transmission of a blood borne disease such as Hepatitis B or HIV.
All tattooists and skin piercers operating in the district must be registered with the authority, which will issue them registration certificates to be clearly displayed on the premises.
SDC’s community protection spokesman Christopher Kettle said: “One of the main reasons for registration is the protection of public health, particularly against the spread of infection. If their certificate isn’t on display the likelihood is that they aren’t registered.
“The council believes that there may be unregistered businesses operating in the district and we are keen to make people aware of this.
“To protect others, we would encourage anyone who suspects that a skin piercer is operating illegally to report this to us.
“If you are considering any of these treatments please, for your own safety, ensure you only use a registered operator – don’t be tempted into a cheaper rate offered by an unregistered tattooist as it’s simply not worth the risk.”
Anyone who is aware of a tattooist in the district operating without registration or offering to tattoo under 18s, should contact the council on 01789 260211 or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.