Warning for Oshawa tattooist customers Print

Customers of a south Oshawa tattooist are being warned of possible health risks by the Durham Region's Health Department.

Durham Region residents who may be clients of a tattooist-piercer providing mobile or home-based services in the south Oshawa area, are being asked to call Durham Region Health Department as part of an investigation into potential exposure to non-sterile equipment.

The Health Department has ordered the tattooist-piercer to no longer provide any type of service where the use of potentially non-sterile instruments could lead to transmission of diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. The Health Department is concerned that tattoos and/or piercings may have been provided to elementary school aged students in south Oshawa.

“At this time, we have no evidence of transmission of infectious disease,“ explained Dr. Scott Kapoor, Durham Region Associate Medical Officer of Health, “but, there is a risk of transmission of hepatitis B and C, and HIV because of the use of possibly non-sterile instruments at this service. Based on the information obtained to date, the number of clients is expected to be small, although we cannot be certain because the operator is unable to provide the Health Department with a list of clients. Therefore, it’s very important for anyone who received tattoos or piercings through this service based in south Oshawa to call the Health Department for further follow-up.”

Clients who received tattoos or piercings between October 1, 2010 and January 17, 2011 are urged to call the Health Department‘s Environmental Help Line at 905-723-3818 or 1-888-777-9613, ext. 2188 as soon as possible. The Health Department will provide information to clients on the recommended follow-up tests to rule out any blood borne infection.

“It’s important for people to understand that they should avoid home-based or mobile tattoo and body-piercing operations as these services have likely not been inspected and may be unsafe,” said Ross MacEachern, Manager, Environmental Health Division with the Health Department. ”People considering a tattoo or a piercing should be aware of what to look and ask for when choosing these types of services.”