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Health Unit Seeks Help Finding Uninspected Tattoo Artist in Cobourg

An uninspected tattoo artist working in the Cobourg area appears to be using contaminated equipment and the local health unit is asking for the public’s help in identifying the operator.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is seeking help in identifying the uninspected tattoo operator who has been tattooing Cobourg area young people out of his home. Based on information provided to the Health Unit, the uninspected tattoo operator may not be using properly sterilized equipment. 

“Tattooing involves breaking the skin and this puts people at risk for a number of different types of infections, especially if the tattoo artist isn’t using properly sterilized equipment,” says Richard Ovcharovich, Manager of Environmental Health with the HKPR District Health Unit. 

Diseases such as Hepatitis B and C and HIV can be spread through contact with contaminated blood, while tattooing also increases the risk for bacterial infections such as Streptococcus and Staphylococcus. Skin infections that cause redness, swelling at the site and oozing pus can also result from tattoos created with improperly sterilized equipment.

“It’s important that the Health Unit find this operator so that we can ensure he uses sterilized equipment and doesn’t put anyone else at risk,” Ovcharovich says.

If anyone has any information, they are urged to contact the Health Unit at (905) 885-9100 or by email at

Residents who are contemplating getting a tattoo are encouraged to do their homework before choosing a tattoo artist. The Health Unit regularly inspects tattoo shops, but Ovcharovich recommends people still consider the following before getting a tattoo:

·         Ask to see a copy of their last inspection report from the Health Unit.

·         Is the shop clean and is there a sink for the operator to wash their hands?

·         Does the operator use a disposable needle out of an unopened packaged with the seal still attached?

·         Does the operator have an autoclave (if resusable needles are being used) so that you know the equipment is being sterilized?

·         Does the operator disinfect the skin before procedures?

·         Does the operator use new, disposable gloves for each tattooing?

·         Does the operator provide instructions on caring for your new tattoo and a number to call if there is a problem?

To learn more about safe tattooing, visit the Health Unit’s website or call the office toll-free at


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For media inquiries, contact:

Richard Ovcharovich, Manager, Environmental Health, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, (705) 324-3569







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«January 2019»