LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – In an effort to promote safety, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services hosted its first Body Art Educational Conference this week to share with local artists the do’s and don’ts of the industry.
Hundreds of people, from tattoo artists to health advocates, came together in Lansing this morning to make sure everyone is being safe before getting or giving a tattoo or piercing.
Health officials say it’s been a long time coming and a conference like this one is much needed for the community.
“It’s the only life and body you have, so it’s super important when you’re doing something that you know exposes you to blood and body fluids that you’re educated enough to take proper precautions,” said Kris Lachance, the owner of Splash and Color Tattoo and Piercing Studio in East Lansing.
The body art industry is on the rise in Michigan and for Lachance, she says it’s great way to express yourself, but it can also be dangerous if not done correctly.
“It’s just a matter of reassessing where your values are and putting more value on the quality, the integrity of the safety and the artwork, versus just price,” said Lachance.
Lachance says the biggest risks are infections like Hepatitis C and the bacteria MRSA. Both can cause serious illness.
Lachance believes customers should be asking more questions.
“How clean is it? What education do you have? You know, how are you going to keep me safe and give me the best tattoo or piercing?,” said Lachance.
Michael Kucab, the body art licensing coordinator with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says it’s important to bring the body art community together to raise awareness about potential risks.
“More education leads to more prevention of infections, and that’s what it’s all about,” said Kucab.
As for Kris, she says to remember it’s okay to walk away.
“If for any reason you don’t feel comfortable or something doesn’t seem right, then there’s someone else that you can visit that might be better suited for what you’re trying to do,” said Lachance.
If you’re interested in the body art industry, or want more information about potential health concerns when getting a tattoo or piercing, click here.