Ottawa

City calling for more tattoo, piercing inspectors

The sudden increase of tattoo parlours, piercing studios and spas in Ottawa has the Board of Health looking to raise enough money to hire more inspectors, according to board chair Coun. Dian Holmes.

The sudden increase of tattoo parlours, piercing studios and spas in Ottawa has the Board of Health looking to raise enough money to hire more inspectors, according to board chair Councillor Diane Holmes.

"We don't have enough inspectors to do that work. There have been some problems in other cities; we are realizing that we don't want those problems here, where you see a spike in hepatitis B or C related to any of these processes. So we should be inspecting far more than we are," Holmes said.

She said the board will ask city council for $250,000 to hire two more health inspectors.

Darin Comley has been working at Universal Tattoo Studio on Rideau Street for 16 years.

He said Ottawa tattoo parlours are safer today than ever before. But there is still a need for close inspections, he said, especially for newer studios sprouting up around the city.

"We hear it amongst people coming in that have had a bad job or something. Instead of reporting to the Board of Health, they come to us … and then we turn around and talk to … the board of health, and relay [to them] what we are hearing from the general public," Comley said.