The ‘body free Australia’ review follows the government’s announcement that it will provide $200,000 for an independent inquiry into the regulation of tattooing and body modification.
The Minister for Health Sussan Ley said “the Government is committed to ensuring our health system provides safe care to all Australians, particularly the young people who are increasingly getting tattoos or requesting cosmetic surgery.”
Ms Ley said there is anecdotal evidence about the increase in potentially serious infections among young people as a result of these procedures.
“While most body art practitioners do not have any problems with their practice, we know there are cases where people have suffered significant infections following tattooing or piercing,” she said.
This investigation comes after one Australian company set up a petition on Change.org to demand that the government introduce regulations for tattooing and body modification.
Change.org petition creator Damien Thomas called on the government, “To implement strict laws surrounding licesing of artist and sterilization of equipment, in order to reduce the number of cases like this.”
He was referring to a 27-year old woman who lost her leg after a bad infection caused by a Melbourne tattoo parlour. The woman’s lawyer told the Herald Sun that she received only basic training from her employer before being allowed to operate on people.
“The tattoo industry is not regulated in Australia,” said Mr Thomas.
“You can get your equipment off eBay, you can set up shop in your garage and there are no rules governing these people.”
Ms Ley said the inquiry will look at the adequacy of existing regulation of body art procedures and what further regulation may be required to protect consumer health and safety.
Topics for consideration include:
• The medical risks associated with tattoos, permanent makeup and other forms of skin-modification including infection control measures;
• The application of occupational health and safety guidelines to tattooing, piercing, semi-permanent cosmetics or any other form of skin-modification;
• Any technical standards that should be assessed by state and territory regulators;
• The adequacy of existing regulation of body art procedures and what further regulation may be required to protect consumer health and safety.
The body free Australia review will provide advice on an appropriate evidence based regulatory framework that supports consumers whilst ensuring the safe practice of tattooing, piercing, semi-permanent makeup or any other form of skin-modification.