Archive for Friday, July 10, 2009

Leavenworth police investigate unlicensed tattoo artists, issue health warnings

July 10, 2009


Leavenworth police have received several leads since warning the public earlier this week about unlicensed tattoo artists operating in the city.

A Leavenworth youth, who allegedly received a tattoo from an unlicensed artist, tested positive for hepatitis C in preliminary tests. He was one of four high school-aged youths who visited the artist. On Friday, Police Chief Pat Kitchens said more testing revealed the youth had not contracted hepatitis C.

Regardless, the chief remains concerned about unlicensed artists operating in Leavenworth.

“Fortunately for the young man, it was just a scare,” Kitchens said.

Medical concerns prompted his department to issue a warning about unlicensed artists operating in Leavenworth, even before all testing was complete.

“There’s a reason why tattoo artists have to be licensed,” he said “When you get a tattoo, there’s an exchange of bodily fluids. And it is very, very important that this is done with the proper sanitation and proper care of the equipment and those kinds of things.

“If you get involved in something like this, the health risks are very substantial. So you want to be very careful about doing that.”

In addition, Kitchens stressed that HIV and a variety of other blood-borne conditions could also be contracted if proper sanitation and care were lacking.

Police have identified three suspects, but have made no arrests, Kitchens said. The four youths allegedly received the tattoos without parental consent, which is a state requirement for people under 18. The city of Leavenworth also requires tattoo parlors to be licensed. Prison City Tattoo is the only licensed parlor in Leavenworth.

Anyone with information about unlicensed tattoo artists is asked to call police Sgt. Jim Bridges, (913) 651-2260.


OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 10 months ago

Why is it so hard to find this guy? Is he working out of a van?

Christine Anderson 8 years, 10 months ago

Marion, what do you expect-it's Leavenworth!

It is absolutely correct that proper sanitation and licensing procedures must be followed in tattooing. However, bodily fluids are lost during the procedure, not exchanged. The person getting the tattoo and the "artist" are both exposed to bodily fluids; that is, the fluids of the person being drawn on. Oh, you might include the perspiration of the artist if he/she is illegally operating, and is in fear of getting caught. Yes, if the equipment is not cleaned properly, if the artist does not wear gloves, there is a risk of transmission of HIV, Hep C, and Hep B. However, Lt. Kitchens, if you actually have a tattoo parlor where bodily fluids are being "exchanged", not shed, you've got a helluva lot more going on there besides tattooing.

Danimal 8 years, 10 months ago

I see this as an opportunity to weed out the slow and weak among us. Seriously folks, we need a little natural selection, if you're dumb enough to get a tattoo from someone who is unlicensed and unsanitary you diserve whatever you get.

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