The Thunder Bay District Health Unit has issued an order to a city couple to stop offering home-based tattoo services until they're inspected.

The Health Unit reports Andy Hrycyshyn and Taisha Rose have been providing tattoo services in the city for at least six months at various locations and may have gone to people’s homes as well.

The city’s medical officer of health, Dr. David Williams, said tattoo operators don't need a licence, but they do need an inspection.

Williams said this is "to ensure that … they have the proper equipment [and] … that they're following the proper procedures ...offering the services in a safe and infectious free way," such as not re-using material and using proper infection control procedures.

No charges will be laid against Hrycyshyn and Rose, as they complied with the order to stop performing these services.

Contact health unit with concerns

Williams said the health unit has not recorded any health concerns relating to the tattoo operation. However, the health unit "could not determine the number of clients," he said.

That's why the health unit issued a press release informing the public about the tattoo operation — so if there are any health concerns, people should contact them.

Williams said, while a tattoo is being done, the skin is pierced and bacteria and viruses — such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C HIV and other skin infections — can easily enter the body if proper infection control procedures are not in place.

Anyone who may have received a tattoo from Andy Hrycyshyn or Taisha Rose  — and has concerns — is asked to contact the health unit’s infectious diseases program at 625-8318 or 1-888-294-6630, ext. 8318.

Meanwhile, the Health Unit recommends anyone considering getting a tattoo in the city should make sure the tattooing business they're using has been inspected. The health unit will provide a list of inspected tattoo businesses on request.