Tattoos in the News 4: (Yet another) Case for tattoo regulation

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Aug 132010

A new survey from the Center for Disease Control in British Columbia, Canada, has revealed that regulation of the tattoo industry goes a long way to battling infections, common from unregulated and untested tattoo artists.

In Michigan, regulations currently exist that required tattoo facilities to be inspected regularly, and those who do not pass the rigorous inspections are prohibited from tattooing.

The health organization interviewed a cross-section of people from all around the world – from the United States to Iran – for the study, and the findings suggest that greater regulation of tattoo shops is needed in some parts of the world.

Unsafe practices have led to tattooed people becoming up to three times more likely to contract Hep C, the research showed. Tattoo needles and tubes touch contact blood, and if they are not sterilized between use, this can lead to infections.

A quality tattoo shop will dispose of all needles that come into contact with the skin, sterilize tubes by autoclave between uses, and ensure that all surfaces in the tattooing area remain sterile for each customer.

Those seeking to get tattoo work should ensure their shop of choice adheres to strict sterilization procedures and discards all needles after use.

The manager of health protection for Vancouver Coastal Health, Angelo Kouris, said, “Operators look for sterilization of reused equipment, clean sanitary work surfaces and ensure that single-use disposable needles and disposable gloves are used.”

The State of Michigan requires that tattoo shops be licensed, which means regular inspections of premises, and banned from-home tattooing, where many untrained artists use unsafe practices, earlier this year.

The study was published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases.

 Posted by at 1:45 am
Jul 262010

Some news from across the pond today as health advocates in the United Kingdom – the smart cookies that they are – have called to ban ‘do it yourself’ tattoo kits from being sold on the internet.

People often buy tattoo machines off the internet and practice in the home on themselves or others – something that was struck down as illegal in the State of Michigan earlier this year.

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health told the British Broadcasting Corporation that the sales should be banned due to a lack of education on the parts of those buying the machines.

While a professionally tattooed, well cared for piece of skin art can be beautiful, the end results of a in-home tattoo, or something from a ‘tattoo party’, can be sloppy, slow to heal and, in a worst case scenario, infectious. Not to mention that – at least in Michigan – it’s against the law.

Some of our friends in Auld Scotland, such as Graham Robertson of the Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland, have heard multiple reports of legit tattoo artists needing to “repair” work done by untrained hands.

“We have a problem with how unlicensed tattooists source such kits. The more available those things are, the more common it is becoming,” he told the Scotland Herald. “We get reports when people have come in and told the licensed tattooists they have had a botched job. People don’t seem to realise the risk.”

He said that while infections aren’t reported regularly, they are still a big concern for the health industry.

“We have had two reports of infections attributable to tattooing or piercing in four years – luckily. It is more due to good fortune that it is relatively low,” he said.

Unsanitary conditions, such as those often found where people who don’t know tattooing procedures try to practice, can lead to all sorts of infections, and the transmission of blood borne pathogens can be higher.

Something that translates between Scotland, the USA and the entire world is the cleanliness of the tattoo environment. In the State of Michigan, tattoo shops must be approved by the Department of Community Health in order to achieve a legal status.

In an interview with the Herald, George Greenhill of Tribe studios in Edinburgh, Scotland, suggested: “People should only use a licensed operator.

“People should also check the cleanliness of a studio.”

 Posted by at 10:32 pm

Tattoos in the News 2: Tattoos in the Workplace

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Jul 232010

One thing that many people worry about when getting a tattoo or body piercing is whether an employer or any future employer might not hire them them for having one. (Strangely, the opposite is true here at Magnum.)

However, according to John Challenger, who operates the job placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. – and happens to have a wicked last name – says the threat of such discriminations is almost non-existent.

“Today, even in this tight job market, most companies are not going to view tattoos too harshly,” Challenger told the Central Valley Business Times. “One reason is that with everyone from soccer moms to MIT computer science graduates sporting tattoos, preconceptions about tattooed individuals are no longer valid.”

Tattoo advocates have long said that tattoos should not be considered during a hiring, and Challenger agrees.

“More importantly, companies have a vested interest in hiring the most qualified candidate,” he said.

“Two decades ago, showing off tattoos and body piercings would be a surefire way to get your resume placed in the ‘No Way!’ pile,” he said, before admitting that “Times have changed.”

In the past twenty years, the popularity and acceptance in society of tattoos has skyrocketed, with recent research indicating that almost two in five people aged 18 to 29 has some skin art.

Additionally, those doing the hiring – for the sake of our argument aged 30 to 45 – aren’t strangers to tattoos and piercings either, with more than three of every ten hiding some ink underneath the dress shirt and tie.

The research, conducted by the Pew Center, who specialize in – what else? – doing research also found that 30 percent of 18 to 29 year olds (who they call “Millennials” … pretty badass, eh?) have their body art visible at all times.

And while Challenger said we might never see visible tattoos on the clergy – no, seriously he said that – he recommended that jobseekers scope out employers as much as they are being scrutinized.

“As a job seeker, you have to judge whether the employer you are interviewing with is going to be accepting of your body art,” he said.

 Posted by at 12:41 pm

Site Feature – New pages on Health & Safety

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Jul 122010

Hello all out there in Internet land!

In an effort to keep our clientele and fans of tattoo art in general aware of practices in the trade, we are currently working to expand our section on Health and Safety section. This is so people coming into Magnum Tattooing and The Amulet have a better understanding of what goes on behind the scenes, and how we’re always working to ensure the safety of our customers.

People looking for tattoos and/or body piercing should always enquire about what sterilization and cleaning processes and procedures are used by a shop. It’s kind of like not taking a car for a test drive before you buy it – it just don’t make sense!

And remember, if you can’t find the answer to your question on our website, always feel free to Contact Us at Magnum Tattooing, and we’ll help address your question professionally.

 Posted by at 10:32 pm
Jul 102010

For the new website, we’ve just added a special feature that will allow users to view the Magnum Tattooing online portal in languages other than English, thanks to Google Translate:

screenshot - translate

Now, we’re not sure how many folk around the Grand Rapids area looking for some killer tattoo artwork will need to have a page translated into Latvian or Icelandic, but we thought it’d be pretty cool to add as a feature.

Plus, we can look at our own biographies in Thai and stuff:

screenshot - jaime morton

Pretty nifty, eh?

So once you’ve played around with that for a little while, be sure to ติดต่อเรา – Contact Us – with your tattoo or body piercing needs down at the Studio.

Have a great weekend!

 Posted by at 1:02 pm
Jul 092010

From time to time, and for better or worse, Tattoos find themselves in the Headlines.

We at Magnum – as we have, well, a vested interest in tattooing in the media, will try to call your attention to some of these from time to time.

We’ll start off with a fun one:

From The Huffington Post

Some people choose to adorn themselves with iconic pieces of art from throughout the ages or their children’s names – and some people see their testament to body art coming in the form of a cat playing a keyboard.

Keyboard Cat Tattoo

Here at Magnum, we don’t cast judgement on the designs we put on people’s skin. We work with our customers to deliver designs and artwork according to their expectations and beyond.

…but you gotta wonder about whether the MySpace logo will look quite as cool – or if folks will remember what that was – on someone’s belly as time rolls on!

 Posted by at 5:14 pm
Jul 082010

Hello to all you out in Internet Land!

We at Magnum Tattooing are working HARD to get you an updated website, so that you can explore all Magnum has to offer from the comfort of your living room/cafe table/iDevice.

While things around here might be moving and shaking for a while, we’re hoping to get more content so you can get a better feel for our tattoo studios and body piercing facilities.

Currently, you can read up about – and see some pretty pictures of – some of your favorite Magnum Tattooing artists. Just click on the link or select “Pages” from the above menu! You can also read a little about the History of Magnum Tattooing.

And be sure to check back in with again soon!

 Posted by at 9:54 pm
Jun 092010

Hi and welcome to the new online home of Magnum Tattooing, a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based tattoo shop, and The Amulet, its sister piercing studio. Here you can find ways to contact the staff at Magnum and a little bit of background into their history and views on the art of tattooing.

Keep your eyes on this space for an expanded view of the studio in the coming weeks and months, as we add galleries of the shop and portfolios for the talented artists at Magnum Tattooing.


 Posted by at 8:54 pm