Choose a Professional Tattoo Artist

Owning a tattoo machine is not the only requirement to be a tattoo artist. Proper hands-on training in a legitimate tattoo shop is vital to understanding and maintaining a safe and healthy environment for both client and tattooer.

Professionals Do it the Right Way

Professional tattooers have dedicated their lives to the love of their craft, and strive to ensure the safety of their clients, co-workers, themselves and ultimately the entire community. Only by ensuring that safe tattoo practices are followed by everyone, can we ensure the safety of the public. Clean practices are already standard in todays modern tattoo establishments.

Currently, professional tattoo artists in Connecticut must hold certification in basic first aid and bloodbourne pathogens training and be registered with the state department of public health as a Tattoo Technician.

Tattoo establishments are subject to inspection by their local health department, and must meet with the requisite criteria and health standards. Used tattoo needles are a biohazardous byproduct of the tattoo procedure, they are required to be deposited of in approved tamper proof sharps containers to be collected and disposed of properly.

The Risks of "Underground" Tattooing

Amateurs who tattoo "on the side", at "tattoo parties", or those who make house calls, pose a public health threat and undermine the efforts of legitimate tattoo professionals. These unregistered and unregulated individuals currently operate unchecked, with no recourse for their irresponsible behavior.

Tattooing in a location such as a basement, garage, on the couch, or at your kitchen table is unsanitary, and exposes the recipient of the tattoo to an increased risk of infection. Surfaces inappropriate for tattooing aren't able to be properly sanitized, increasing the possibility of contamination which can infect others.

Tattoo Parties are a particularly bad idea for a number of reasons. Tattoos done at parties are a rushed job from a tattooer of questionable experience and sanitary practices. This exposes a whole group of people to the same unsanitary conditions at the same time, multiplying the opportunity for cross contamination exponentially.

These "underground" tattooers demonstrate a blatant disregard for the welfare of the people they tattoo. Used needles that are disposed of in a regular trash receptical pose a potential needle stick hazard. An empty soda can is not an approved disposal container.

Additionally, many reputable tattoo suppliers only sell to actual tattoo professionals. With the appearance of saving money and ease of aquisition, amateurs purchase inferior machines, lesser quality needles, ink of questionable origin, and other supplies from disreputable sources. These individual risks compound to form a high probability for a bad tattoo.

Pop Quiz

So what's the big deal?

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website:

...A few major research studies have not shown Hepatitis C to be spread through licensed, commercial tattooing facilities. However, transmission of Hepatitis C (and other infectious diseases) is possible when poor infection-control practices are used during tattooing or piercing. Body art is becoming increasingly popular in the United States, and unregulated tattooing and piercing are known to occur in prisons and other informal or unregulated settings...
By getting tattooed by an "underground" tattooer in an unsanitary environment, you are putting yourself and your household at risk, while perpetuating and encouraging the continuation of this reckless behavior. The risks to your health are not worth any amount of money that you may seem to "save".

The Connecticut Association of Professional Tattooers

The members of CAPT are all licensed professionals who have voluntarily chosen to embrace a higher standard to ensure both quality artistry and safe tattoo practices.

Look for the CAPT triangle logo when you get tattooed, and you'll know you are getting a tattoo from someone who cares enough to take the time and do it the right way.

The most important factor in public health and safety consciousness is appropriate education. Be smart and stay safe.