7. Tattoos Deadly Little Secret

Terry Watkins
the Truth Ministries

[Article reprinted with permission]



That harmless little “innocent” tattoo may have a little secret hiding inside.

A very deadly little secret. . .

Underneath that harmless tattoo is a very serious risk of acquiring a deadly blood-borne disease such as AIDS, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, tetanus, syphilis, tuberculosis and other blood-born diseases.

Michael Machetti, a California tattooed biker seeking to have a very-vulgar neck tattoo re-tattooed-covered up with the number “666” has filed legal action against Bull’s Eye Tattoo Studio for infecting him with a “flesh-eating virus” during the tattoo procedure. Machetti claims the tattooist utilized unsanitary equipment that consequently infected him with the virus. Machetti has required several serious medical operations on his neck and both arms to remove huge portions of eaten skin. According to Ron Bakal, Machetti’s lawyer, his client’s medical bills are currently over $580,000.
(Case RIC391550, Michael Machetti v. Bull’s Eye Tattoo Studio, Sam Enriquez, Superior Court of California, County of Riverside, file date April 11, 2003)

An alarming research study recently published by Dr. Bob Haley and Dr. Paul Fischer at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas uncovered that the “innocent” commercial tattoo may be the number one distributor of hepatitis C. The study was published in the journal Medicine (Haley RW, Fischer RP, Commercial tattooing as a potentially source of hepatitis C infectionMedicine, March 2000;80:134-151). Dr. Haley, a preventative medicine specialist and a former Center for Disease Control (CDC) infection control official, is exceptionally knowledgeable to prepare the study.

Dr. Haley concludes, “We found that commercially acquired tattoos accounted for more than twice as many hepatitis C infections as injection-drug use. This means it may have been the largest single contributor to the nationwide epidemic of this form of hepatitis.”

Incredible. According to Dr. Haley’s research you are twice as likely to be infected with hepatitis C from getting a tattoo from a tattoo shop than shooting up dope! With over 20 million Americans wearing a tattoo – and growing by leaps and bounds – we are likely staring down the barrel of a mammoth deadly epidemic.

The study also found that people who get tattooed in a commercial tattoo parlor were nine times more likely to get hepatitis C! That’s nine times more likely to be infected by a deadly, fatal disease. And Dr. Haley is not referring to “backyard-prison-tattoos” but a tattoo from a “sanitized” commercial tattoo shop.

Did you know the deadly disease hepatitis C kills over 10,000 people a year? And sky-rocketing. . . Currently 4 million Americans are chronically infected with hepatitis C and rising. . . And according to Dr. Haley, it’s number one channel — the deadly tattoo. . . Courtesy of your friendly commercial tattoo parlor.

There is the documentated case of a 22-year-old grocery store employee who simply received his $45 tattoo. And four weeks later – needed a liver transplant! (Mryna L. Armstrong and Lynne Kelly, Tattooing, Body Piercing, and Branding Are on the Rise, The Journal of School Nursing, Feb. 2001, Vol 17 No. 1, p.15)

When you consider hepatitis B can be transmitted with as little as 0.00004 ml of blood, and can live on blood contaminated surfaces, such as needles, tattoo machines, tables, etc. for over two months, the risk of hepatitis is very real indeed.



IMPORTANT: It’s strongly advised for people who have tattoos to get a Hepatitis check. And soon. . . Hepatitis can lie unnoticed for many years while doing serious damage. The sooner hepatitis is detected the better the chances for survival. If you have a tattoo – get checked.

WebMD warns of the “Russian Roulette” tattoo procedure — as each stick of the tattoo needle opens you up to contracting a deadly disease:

“Hepatitis C is spread by infected blood and infected needles, which is the virus’ connection with tattooing. Tattoos involve lots of needles making lots of sticks in the skin. Each stick carries potential for contamination — and not just with hepatitis, but also HIV, . . .”
(Pamela Anderson Says She Has Hepatitis C, WebMD Medical News, March 21, 2002, content.health.msn.com/content/article/1678.50634)

Still want a tattoo?

Ask actress Pamela Anderson about the harmless tattoo. Pamela contracted the deadly hepatitis C from a simple, small finger “TOMMY” tattoo.

The fact of tattoos spreading deadly diseases is nothing new. It’s been known and documented for years.

According to the Hepatitis Control Report, Spring 2001, “Outside the United States, several studies have connected the practice [tattoos] to hepatitis B and C virus transmission. . .”

“Tattooing poses health risks because the process exposes blood and body fluids. Because of this a person who gets tattooed risks getting a disease or infection that is carried through blood. These blood-borne diseases include hepatitis B and C, tetanus, and HIV.”
(Bonnie B. Graves, Tattooing and body piercing, p. 40)

“By the middle of the nineteenth century, it was becoming more and more apparent that the practice was not without its medical hazards. For instance, in 1853 the first case was reported of syphilis, transmitted not in the old fashioned way, but via the tattooist’s needle.”
(Ronald Scutt, Art, Sex and Symbol, 1974, p. 133)

“In the late 1950’s, a New York City boy contracted blood poisoning from being tattooed with an unsterilized needle.”
(Laura Reybold, Everything you need to know about the dangers of tattooing and body piercing, p. 17)

In 1961 an outbreak of hepatitis B in New York City was linked to the tattoo. And the “ultra-liberal” New York City outlawed the deadly tattoo from 1961 until 1997!

Did you know the American Red Cross prohibits donors from donating blood for 12 months – one complete year — after getting tattooed? Their Blood Donation Eligibility Guidelines under “Tattoo” reads, “Wait 12 months after a tattoo. This requirement is related to concerns about hepatitis.”

Get this. . . According to research published in the Journal of School Health, 70 percent of 642 adolescents surveyed in a study reported hemorrhaging while being tattooed. (Donald Staffo , The Tuscaloosa Times, January 10, 2001)

Despite the attempt of many tattoo websites to nullify the possibility of contracting HIV / AIDS from a tattoo, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) gives a different answer:

“Can I get HIV from getting a tattoo or through body piercing?
A risk of HIV transmission does exist if instruments contaminated with blood are either not sterilized or disinfected or are used inappropriately between clients. CDC recommends that instruments that are intended to penetrate the skin be used once, then disposed of or thoroughly cleaned and sterilized.”

Why are tattoos so vulnerable to deadly diseases?

Simple. Because the tattooist is puncturing thousands of tiny potential disease bearing wounds with very little, if any, serious state or federal health regulations. And not only that, many of the customers receiving a tattoo are drug-users, criminals, rock artists, deviants and homosexuals who just happen to be the major carriers of the deadly blood-borne diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis.

And there exists no or very little federal or state laws enforcing any serious sterilization regulations. It is basically up to the tattoo shop owner to sterilize or not sterilize his tattooing tools and procedures.

“Where tattooing is legal, however there is little or no government regulation of tattoo artists. . . Since there is little regulation of tattoo artists, however, it is important to recognize that, as in any field, there may be unscrupulous or incompetent practitioners. Tattooing opens your body to potential infection, disease, and scarring.”
(Laura Reybold, Everything you need to know about the dangers of tattooing and body piercing, p. 18)

On their web site, the world-renown, Mayo Clinic sounds a warning about the dangers of the commercial tattoo shop and lack of serious health regulations:

“Keep in mind that tattoo parlors and piercing venues are not held to the same sterility standards as doctors’ offices and hospitals. Few states have hygienic regulations to ensure safe tattooing practices in commercial tattoo parlors, and even fewer monitor and enforce standards.”
(Body piercing and tattoos: More than skin deep, Mayo Clinic, www.mayoclinic.com)

WebMD also acknowledges the lack of sterile regulations missing in most tattoo shops:

By and large, tattoo artists and shops are not required — by state or local governments — to follow the same sterile operating practices as other operations that use needles, like hospitals and doctor’s offices.”
(Pamela Anderson Says She Has Hepatitis C, WebMD Medical News, March 21, 2002, content.health.msn.com/content/article/1678.50634)

Dennis Dwyer, executive director of the tattoo’s industry voluntary-self-monitoring organization Alliance for Professional Tattoo Artists (APT) readily admits the problem, “Many people are trying their best to provide safe tattooing. But this industry has a lot of nonconformists,”
(Pamela Anderson Says She Has Hepatitis C, WebMD Medical News, March 21, 2002, content.health.msn.com/content/article/1678.50634)

Tattoo industry expert Professor Myrna Alexander of Texas Tech University, who has researched the tattoo industry for 10 years, warns, “There are some very reputable tattoo artists out there. They work hard, and their studios are as clean as medical clinics. They do a good job because they believe what they are doing is art. The problem is, there are many who don’t.”
(Pamela Anderson Says She Has Hepatitis C, WebMD Medical News, March 21, 2002, content.health.msn.com/content/article/1678.50634)

Most tattoo shops do not and will not advise you to the real potential for serious health dangers. Despite the vast amount of research available (just search the Internet) many tattooist still refuse to acknowledge the very serious health dangers the tattoo invites.

Other Little Dangers

Besides the possibility of killing you with fatal diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis, the “harmless” tattoo provides an arm-load of other ailments.

Tattoos can cause chronic skin disorders such as sarcoid, keloid scarring, allergic dermatitis, photosensitivity reactions, psoriasis, and benign or malignant tumors. (www.saintmarys.edu/~health/dyk0010.html) Many people experience infection and allergic reaction to the tattoo ink.

Also, the pigments in tattoo ink contain small metal fibers such as iron oxide. These metal fibers can cause intense burning pain during an MRI procedure. Some medical institutions refuse to perform MRIs on people with tattoos. The MRI is an important medical procedure and this risk should not be taken lightly. (www.ezpermanentmakeup.com/IronOxideLetters.htm) And every prick is an invitation for blood-bourne diseases such as hepatitis and AIDS.

Think before you get that tattoo. . .

A tattooing machine can puncture the skin 3,000 times a minute. And every one of those thousands of punctures creates a hole 1/64 to 1/16th of an inch into the dermis that literally invites infection and disease. Every single puncture of the tattoo needle opens up the real possibility of AIDS, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, tetanus, tuberculosis and about any other blood-borne disease. With the average tattoo taking about 60 minutes that equals 180,000 tiny “Russian Roulette” puncture wounds providing a potential path to a very deadly infectious disease.


Your tattoo could have inserted more
than harmless ink in your exposed flesh.

My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.
6 I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.
7 For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.
I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.
Psalm 38:5-8


NOTE: It is strongly recommended to carefully read all the different sections, in order, as each section compliments the previous.

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