CaptureAn innovative scheme aimed at raising the hygiene standards of tattoo studios across Hambleton has been launched.

Hambleton District Council is the first local authority in North Yorkshire to introduce a Tattoo Hygiene Rating Scheme.

The voluntary scheme is designed to inform the public about hygiene standards in individual tattooing businesses.  It will also help reduce risk of infection and transmission of disease from tattooing as well as raising standards across the industry.

“It will be run in a similar way to the Food Hygiene scheme with participating studios undergoing an assessment from the council’s Environmental Health Team before being rated into four categories with one being  needs improvement and four very good,” said Councillor Brian Phillips, Portfolio Holder for Environmental and Planning Services.

“Tattoos are increasing in popularity and it is really important that we have the safest possible working practices in our towns.  We hope this scheme will expose unregistered artists and give customers the chance to make their own judgement based on the results.

It is very reassuring that the first studio to sign up to the scheme and be inspected has achieved the highest grade.”

And Rachel Oyston, Co-Owner and Tattoo Artist of Inkwell Arts in Thirsk added “I am fully in favour of this new grading system and am very proud not only to be the first tattoo studio in North Yorkshire to achieve this award but also to have been given the top rating too.

“There are a lot of horror stories where people have had tattoo’s done by unqualified individuals who will carry out a tattoo anywhere with no regard for hygiene, often resulting in a poor quality tattoo, infection and even being scarred for life.  Hygiene in studios is really important and as an Artist I would encourage members of the public to only use registered studios and for other studios to join the scheme.”

Once inspected, tattoo studies receive a certificate and a window sticker. There are currently 18 tattooists in Hambleton working out of five studios.

For more information www.hambleton.gov.uk/tattooscheme or contact the council on 01609 779977.