Ask Your Questions About-HCV! of our Hepatitis Experts:

Prevention of Hep C within the tattoo industry?

Dr. Chung,

This is a set of public health questions that I once asked at a conference where the guest speaker was a nurse with university connections and who specializes in Hep C. Her answer to the primary question was not very encouranging.

What is being done within the tattoo "industry" with technology to prevent resevoirs of Hep C within the ink apparatus?

** And most importantly, why are tattoo parlors not regulated to ensure that the virus is not in their equipment?

Can a viral load be obtained from a vector outside the body such as tattooing equipment?

One trip to a aquatic theme park or the beach quickly tells the relevance of such questions ...everyone is sporting tattoos, in some cases multiple tattoos.

Thank you for your consideration of the above questions,
Michael Eckenfels RN, LMSW

answer from Dr Chung:

Most states have now implemented regulation of parlors to require strict practices with respect to both tattoo pens and inkwells.

How compliance and enforcement have worked out is another issue altogether, and how many practice unlicensed is also another issue. Little information is available in this regard. RC Ask our Experts All Questions