ACTION to reduce risks from skin piercing in South Tyneside is expected to receive endorsement from borough councillors tonight.
Tattooing, body piercing and skin colouring have become increasingly popular in recent years.
Skin piercing is a high-risk activity that presents a potential risk of skin infections, allergic or toxic reactions to various substances used on or in the skin.
As the range of procedures have increased, so too have the number of practitioners – some of whom are not registered to provide the service.
South Tyneside Council had previously adopted Government guidelines on the regulation of the industry.
But when members of the borough council meet tonight they will be told that more stringent regulations are required, in particular to reduce the risk of transmission of blood-borne viruses such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS
And they will be called on to back the compulsory registration of practitioners.
Piercing in particular puts people at risk of skin infections and of having an allergic or toxic reaction to various substances used on or in the skin.
A report to tonight’s meeting, starting in South Shields Town Hall from 6pm, asks members to endorse new bylaws which would help to ensure that businesses, including beauticians, could be licensed and have regular inspections.
It is to be presented by Coun Tracey Dixon, the council’s lead member for area management and community safety.
She said: “The new bylaws would help to give local residents confidence in knowing that if they make the decision to have a tattoo or skin piercing, the business will be both licensed and regulated.
“If the bylaws are adopted, my advice for practitioners is to make sure they pay the registration fee, which is currently £73 for the premises and £32 for the practitioner themselves.
“The fees are set on a cost recovery basis, which means that the fees cover the cost of administration and inspections and are not profit making.”
The report adds: “Skin piercing is a high-risk activity that presents a potential risk of skin infections, allergic or toxic reactions to various substances used on or in the skin.
“The current bylaws do not fully reflect the range of skin piercing activities that are now popular.
“The purpose of the new bylaws is to minimise infection risks through the compulsory registration of practitioners and premises that cover the procedures, equipment and facilities used so that they are safe, hygienic and prevent the spread of disease.”