AN innovative scheme aimed at raising the hygiene standards of tattoo studios across Hartlepool has been launched.
Hartlepool Borough Council is the first local authority in England to launch a Tattoo Hygiene Rating Scheme (THRS).
The voluntary scheme is designed to inform members of the public about the hygiene standards in individual premises, drive up standards and help combat the risk of incidents of infection and of transmission of infectious disease from tattooing.
Studios are given one of four ratings, 1 - needs improvement. 2 - satisfactory. 3 - good and 4 - very good.
The large majority of Hartlepool studios have agreed to sign up and the first four to be inspected have all been given the top rating. They are Intravenous Ink, Wishful Inkin, Spy Monkey, and Copes Studio.
Speaking at the launch, Kez Hill, of Intravenous Ink in Northgate, said: “I am fully in favour of this new grading scheme and we are delighted to be given the top rating. It gives you confidence as a tattoo artist and also the public too.”
Once inspected, tattoo studios receive a certificate and a window sticker. Studios can also appeal their grading.