DIY Tattoo risks

DIY tattoo kits are advertised extensively on the internet and there is evidence that many such kits, mainly originating from China, are being supplied in the UK.

The use of these DIY tattoo kits is increasingly popular, especially among children. There is an attendant health risk, from local and more extensive allergic reactions to the dyes provided, and of the risk of infection. Untrained and unsupervised use must inevitably be associated with poor hygiene standards, predisposing to infection. The public health impact may be substantial. Needle sharing is apparently now common among children, and bloodborne virus infection is likely.

And of course disposal. Tattoo needles are, by definition, sharp enough to penetrate the skin and although they do not normally go very deep into tissues there is a risk of infection if sharps injury occurs. Predictably, DIY tattoo kits are sold without licence or control, no training or regulation, and no sharps bin. So it seems fair to assume that the waste will be discarded, perhaps into black bag waste, or perhaps simply dumped, to create an additional risk of infection for waste handlers.



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