NL TATTOO LEGISLATION!

As some may know….there is NO TATTOO LEGISLATION IN NEWFOUNDLAND!  When I first opened TBS  in 2003 and looked for a Health Board inspection of the studio I was laughed at and told “that will never happen” this was by a followed by a dial tone.  In 2006, there was the shocking news of a teen dying do to toxic shock that was linked to a body piercing and for 4 weeks I was hard fought to hear a dial tone. I spoke to media outlets across the country and internationally.  Time and time again people were astounded by the lack of regulations in our province. Within a few days of the Chief Coroner’s report, the Minister of Health promised regulation within 6 months…

A few years latter, and enraged Mother hit the news after her teen was pierced in a neighbors home ‘studio’.  Much to her avail, nothing could be done since there is no legislation governing tattooing and piercing in  Newfoundland and Labrador.  As public anger mounted, yet another Health Minister promised legislation…. Just last year, in a very surprising move, the Provincial Conservatives put into their Blue Book (campaign policies for 2011 election) that they would enact legislation over the industry in the very near future.  It seems the future is now.

On May 24, the first meeting between the Tattoo Industry and the Government took place.  It was the first steps toward bring NL in line with regulations that exists in other provinces across Canada.  This is the initial moments in defining the future of this industry in the province.  The Ministry of Environmental Health has been placed into a fact finding mission, to define wether or not the the province requires legislation and according to them -WE DO!

The next steps are a little more cloudy, the Ministry of Environmental Health will put it forward to the government to bring this to the Members of the Assembly.  If the Members vote in favour of the idea, then it will be returned to the Ministry of Environmental Health to begin meeting with the industry and the writing legislation.  Post that process, with a set of legislation in hand, it goes back to the Members of Assembly to vote on once again.  If it’s passed we have legislation/regulations… it’s a little bit of a dizzying process.

In the end, we finally might be able to pull this province out of the dark ages of this industry.  We could finally see third party inspections of studios, standardized and enforced levels of cleanliness and even age restrictions.  No more will consumers be left with the none sensical ‘buyer beware’ mentality that currently exists.  Admittedly this makes me pretty excited, Here’s to a brighter future!

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