Local Tattoo Shop Says Illegal Operations Are Popping Up All Over North Georgia

Reported by: Alisha Searl
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Updated: 4/03/2013 7:28 pm
FORT OGLETHORPE, GEORGIA ( WDEF )-- For every legitimate shop, Al Creamer says there two to five people tattooing out of their home.

The results, he says, can look disturbing.

Creamer adds, "You'll get some guy that's got tattoo equipment that's going to do a house party, and do tattoos free to $20 to $25, and they're going to sit around and get drunk and do pills, do anything, and they don't care."

Creamer works at Ace's in Fort Oglethorpe, and says he's seeing it more and more; people wanting something for nothing.
He says it's causing a resurgence of diseases and infections.

Creamer adds, "Filthy dirty ink bottles, no proper sanitation or sterilization, they don't understand the prevention of cross contamination."

Creamer is now calling on county leaders to take a tougher stand against illegal artists, and the accessibility of tattooing supplies on the internet.

Creamer adds, "It's so far out of control I don't think they could stop it."

Now, we tried to purchase tattooing supplies ourselves on the internet, and found it easy to get pretty much anything we wanted, right down to a kit.

Creamer says, "The equipment is too readily available to untrained people."

Even legally it does not take much to tattoo in Walker County and Catoosa Counties.

For the most part, all you need is a $50 license.

If you want your own shop, that's $200.

Then, you need to read a 29-page book provided by the Northwest Georgia Public Health District, and take a test.

Clay Tracy, the Environmental Health Manager for the district, adds, "They have to demonstrate basic knowledge of first aid, CPR, blood borne pathogens."

Health Officials like Tracy, say  they are concerned about staph infections and Hepatitis B and C, however, he can only do what the state allows.

But that just isn't good enough for some tatooist's like Creamer.

Creamer adds, "The stuff that goes on in the night is never checked on."

Health officials say if you are getting a tattoo, make sure the shop has a license, and watch them open up clean packages in front of you.

If you see anything illegal going on, contact your local health department.
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