HBCU Writers's Project
For Immediate Release
February 07, 2010
Contact Information

Cederrick Ashley
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

(BPRW) Body Art Carries Health Risks

(BLACK PR WIRE/FAMU-TALLAHASSEE) – Saturday afternoon, an artist at Pantera Ink diligently sketches what appears to be a tribal design for one of his waiting customers. The design is filled with intricate detail, rich color, and will soon be applied to the customer’s left forearm. Many people today are patrons of places like Pantera Ink, where they hope to find a unique tattoo that represents their individual personalities or experiences.

Collin Stafford is no different and has been a fan of this unique art form for a long time. His left arm reads, “To vent is human.” While his other arm reads, “To forgive is divine.” “I chose the saying on my arms because it reminds me of my past experiences and how I am ultimately trying to become a better person.”

Few consider the risks that accompany tattoos and body art. One of the risks associated with these practices is Hepatitis C. The Centers for Disease Control defines Hepatitis C as, “A virus that attacks the liver resulting in acute illness and often becoming a chronic condition leading to cirrhosis of the liver or liver cancer.” Hepatitis C is most commonly transmitted through contact with infected blood from sharing needles. Needles are used to apply the ink for tattoos and are also used in body piercings.

Tattoo shops are required by law to be under the supervision of a physician. A physician will inspect the instruments and methods used by the shop, and will also provide semi-annual training in the areas of infection control, sterilization, and emergency procedures.