Re: An inkling behind parlour doors, Nov.21
To the Editor:
Tattooists are often criticized for being reticent about their craft. This reluctance to talk is regarded as a personal affront by the person who is trying to gather information and the tattooist's silence only adds to the aura of secrecy and mystery surrounding the tattoo process.
I prefer that tattooists be up front about what they do, but often when we do open our mouths to try and dispel some popular myths, the problem only gets worse. The Gazette's article is a case in point.
It states, "Before settling into an antique barber's chair, Meaghan gets the story from Tess on some basic procedures." The author then goes on to list various methods of "sterilization," including "boiling for 20 minutes" and "using disinfectant solutions known to destroy hepatitis viruses and HIV."
The wording of the article suggests that these procedures were explained and sanctioned by me. Wrong! I would never advocate any other method of sterilizing instruments than in a regularly cleaned, tested and serviced autoclave at the proper time and temperature settings. Further, at no point in the article is it mentioned that needles should never be used on more than one client. At Mondo Tattoo our piercing and tattooing needles are single use only. Reusing needles, regardless of sterilization procedures, is unacceptable.
The author lifted her facts on sterilization from a Public Health document which is horribly outdated and poorly researched. I have a copy of the newest guidelines at my shop, where, incidentally, a public health inspector visited today. He gave us a clean bill of health, as we met or exceeded all public health regulations governing tattoo "parlours."
I appreciate the publicity a university newspaper story generates, but you'll forgive me if next time a reporter comes knocking, I'm not talking.
Tess de Haan