Tattoo or Not to…
During the spring and summer, it's almost impossible to walk through a mall for more than a couple minutes without spotting people of all ages with tattoos. In the United States tattoos have steadily gained popularity as a fashion trend in the last decade - a trend that shows little signs of slowing down. Tattoos come in all shapes and sizes, and they can appear almost anywhere on someone's body. Permanent cosmetic studios also tattoo on eyebrows, eyeliner and lip liner for those who want to make their makeup to be permanent. In these cases, you may not even know that you are looking at a tattoo!
But before people make a decision to get a tattoo, they should learn about the possible health hazards associated with the practice. These include the possible transmission of diseases like hepatitis, tuberculosis and possibly HIV. The American Academy of Dermatology says that non-sterile tattooing practices have led to the transmission of syphilis, Hepatitis B (i.e., HBV), and other infectious diseases. In addition, allergic reactions to the ink or its pigments can occur. None of the 50-plus colors and shades of pigment used in tattooing are currently regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Is tattooing regulated in the state of Missouri?
Tattooing is regulated under Missouri's Title 4 Code of State Regulations, Division 267 - Office of Tattooing, Body Piercing and Branding, as well as the Missouri Revised Statutes Chapter 324. Many municipalities across the state also regulate tattooing through local laws and regulations.
At what age can a person get a tattoo in the state of Missouri?
You must be at least 18 years old to get a tattoo in Missouri. Persons younger than 18 (i.e., minors) must obtain the written consent of their parent(s) or legal guardian in the presence of the tattoo artist.
Can your teen get AIDS or HIV by getting a tattoo?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (i.e., CDC), there has not yet been a documented case of AIDS transmission from a tattoo. However, a risk of HIV transmission does exist if tattooing instruments contaminated with blood are either not sterilized or thoroughly disinfected or are used inappropriately between clients. CDC recommends that instruments that are intended to penetrate the skin be used only once, then disposed of or thoroughly disinfected and sterilized.
Reprinted with the permission of the University of Missouri. © 2008 — Curators of the University of Missouri
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