by Moody Adams Underneath that cute little tattoo is a very serious risk of a deadly blood-borne disease such as AIDS, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, tetanus, syphilis, tuberculosis and other blood-born diseases.
Mayo Clinic warns about the dangers of visiting the tattoo parlors: "Keep in mind that tattoo parlors and piercing venues are not held to the same sterility standards as doctors' offices and hospitals. Few states have hygienic regulations to ensure safe tattooing practices in commercial tattoo parlors, and even fewer monitor and enforce standards." (Body piercing and tattoos: More than skin deep, Mayo Clinic, www.mayoclinic.com).
An alarming research study recently published by Dr. Bob Haley and Dr. Paul Fischer at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas uncovered that the "innocent" commercial tattoo may be the number one distributor of hepatitis C. The study was published in the journal Medicine (Haley RW, Fischer RP, Commercial tattooing as a potentially source of hepatitis C infection, Medicine, March 2000;80:134-151).
Dr. Haley concludes, "We found that commercially acquired tattoos accounted for more than twice as many hepatitis C infections as injection-drug use.”