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December 22, 2003
Clients of tattoo shop encouraged to call Public Health
All clients of an east end tattoo shop are being asked to call Toronto Public
Health as part of an investigation into the risk of exposure to illness.

Inspectors recently closed Skin Tattoo for improper sterilization of equipment
used for both body piercing and tattooing. Skin Tattoo is located in the
Scarboro Trade Centre weekend flea market at 4181 Sheppard Avenue East.

Improper sterilization of equipment can lead to the transmission of diseases
such as HIV and Hepatitis B and C.

"We have no evidence of transmission of illness. While this operator used
disposable needles he did not properly sterilize other equipment. The risk is
low, but the potential for illness exists," said Dr. Anna Banerji, Associate
Medical Officer of Health.

Dr. Banerji indicated the operator did not produce a complete set of client
records. "As a precaution, we are asking anyone who received a tattoo or
piercing from this premise to call us at 416-338-7600."

Clients of personal service settings such as acupuncturists and tattoo and
piercing salons should be observant and ensure that operators:
  • use only disposable, single-use needles
  • wash hands between customers
  • disinfect the skin before procedures
  • adequately sterilize all equipment
should avoid home-based tattoo operations because these premises are unlikely
to have been inspected.

Media Contact:
Mary Margaret Crapper,
Toronto Public Health,



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