The Kerala Government has made it mandatory for tattoo artists and tattoo studios to have a license to practice. Besides, they should display their license at their studios for public viewing.
A rise in health issues with regard to unethical tattooing practices resulted in these regulations. During festivals, especially, many temporary tattoo vendors use the same needles and tools on people. It causes the spread of skin diseases and allergies. Basis this issue, the state government decided to make it compulsory for tattoo artists to have a license.
The regulation is yet to come into effect. All tattoo artists and studios can apply for licensing within their local bodies as soon as they announce the deadline. No tattoo studios or artists will practice, post the deadline.
The local self-government secretary will head the tattoo licensing authority. The committee members of the licensing authority will include:
- A medical officer of a health institution
- A health inspector or supervisor from the local body
- An official from the district chemical analytical lab
- An official from the State Pollution Control board
It is mandatory for all tattoo artists to produce training, experience, and qualification certificates to apply for a license. The State Drugs Control Department will be responsible for approving the inks used by tattoo artists. Disposable needles, syringes and tubes are a must. Moreover, studios must also adhere to strict bio-waste management rules while disposing of the waste. Tattoo studios should also have an autoclaving facility if they use non-disposable tattooing tools. The Health Department will conduct frequent follow-ups and surprise inspections to check if they ahdere to bio-waste management rules.
License for tattoo artists in Kerala has been long overdue. In a state like Kerala, tattooing is a growing a profession. We personally believe that it is one of the best ways to promote safe and best practices.