Unsanitary home-based tattoo operation ordered to close; follow-up testing recommended

EDMONTON – Alberta Health Services (AHS) is advising all individuals who received tattoo services at the residential ‘Hornets Nest Tattoo’ operation (located at #106, 10140 156 St., Edmonton) and/or from Hornets Nest Tattoo operator, William (Liam) Davis, to be tested for viruses that can be spread through unsanitary tattoo procedures.

“To prevent the spread of infection from one person to another, equipment used in tattooing must be cleaned, disinfected and sterilized according to health standards,” says Dr. Shobhit Maruti, Medical Officer of Health for the Edmonton Zone of AHS.

“This particular home-based tattoo operation did not have these proper sterilization or sanitation processes in place, meaning individuals who received tattoos through this operation may have been exposed to viruses including Hepatitis B and C, and HIV.”

Anyone who received tattoos at Hornets Nest Tattoo or from the operator, William (Liam) Davis, should call their physician to arrange for simple, confidential testing for these viruses. This testing will determine whether the individual has been infected. Individuals may also call Health Link at 811 on a 24/7 basis with any questions or concerns.

AHS ordered the closure of Hornets Nest Tattoo on Feb. 19. This closure order remains in effect and will not be lifted until such time that the operator has addressed all violations noted in the closure order, and is capable of providing tattoo services in accordance with Alberta’s Personal Services Regulation and associated Health Standards. The operator is not permitted to offer tattoo services while the closure order is in place.

“It is the responsibility of all tattoo facility operators – whether residential or otherwise – to ensure all regulations are met and operations are compliant,” says Dr. Maruti. “This applies not only before opening a tattoo operation but also while operating; always. Our health inspectors support these businesses to operate safely. We are here as a resource.”

All Albertans are reminded to confirm that a tattoo operation is routinely inspected before receiving any tattoo services from any facility. To confirm that any Edmonton Zone tattoo or piercing operation is inspected, individuals can ask the operator for their most current health inspection report or call Edmonton Zone Environmental Public Health at 780-735-1800.

For further advice on selecting a safe tattoo facility, Albertans are encouraged to see AHS’ Think Before You Ink checklist.N

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