A Shepparton tattooist has warned bad artwork is the smallest concern for people attending backyard operators, with fears low-quality ink could even result in death.DARREN LINTON January 16, 2013 4:50am
Dale Huggard tattoos a customer at his Thinkin Ink studio. Mr Huggard is concerned about backyard operators.
Tattooist Dale Huggard has more than stories about dodgy backyard operators — he has photographs.
In an instant he’s flicking through files on the small digital camera he keeps in his work space at his Thinkin Ink studio on North St, Shepparton.
He brings up a picture of a tattoo he’s trying to fix; it is supposed to be of a koi — an ornamental fish — but its face looks like a cross between a monkey and a slug.
Mr Huggard says it’s one of many examples he sees of people with cheap and nasty work who come through his door seeking help.
‘‘We’re either fixing them or removing it,’’ Mr Huggard said.
‘‘Some of them you can’t fix, they are just that bad.’’
But the reality is that bad artwork is the least of the problems associated with backyard operators.
‘‘You can die from it,’’ Mr Huggard said.
Federal Member for Murray Sharman Stone is also worried about backyard tattooists who might not follow sterilisation processes and observe other health guidelines to stop the spread of infection and disease.
Dr Stone said they might also be using low-cost inks purchased on the internet, which could contain toxic materials that might cause an allergic reaction, such as lead compounds, nickel and arsenic.
‘‘If tattoo ink is searched on the internet, the components of the ink are not identified and local tattooists are worried about ink coming from China and other overseas countries where there is very little regulation,’’ she said.
‘‘We are hearing horror stories — like the tattooist who allegedly bought a kit off the internet, tattooed himself and opened a shop, which is now trading.’’
Mr Huggard said all tattoo shops were registered and the premises had to be approved by the Health Department, but Dr Stone said better regulation and enforcement was needed.
In Victoria there is no legal requirement for a tattooist to be qualified, but Mr Huggard has been a member of Professional Tattooing Association of Australia — a self-regulating industry body — for a decade.
‘‘Membership means you are working to a higher standard,’’ he said.
‘‘Ever since tattooing started getting popular in Australia, backyarders have been a problem. They will buy the $200 tattoo kit on the internet, but not the $5000 worth of sterilisation equipment.’’
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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