Equality for Tattoo/Piercing Industry

Equality for Tattoo/Piercing Industry

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Edel Walsh
Edel Walsh signed this petition

The Tattoo/Piercing Industry, as much as any other industry in the country, has suffered great losses due to the current pandemic. Being very aware of cross contamination issues, our industry was amongst the first to close its doors in order to safeguard our staff and our clients. We have now been closed since mid March.

The Tattoo and Piercing Federation of Ireland welcomes the Government's phased re-opening plan and applaud its handling of what is an extremely difficult situation. However, having reviewed the Government's Roadmap, we would like to open a discussion around our industry's placement within the Roadmap. We believe that, with the correct protocols in place to ensure the safety of tattooers, piercers and our clients, we should be allowed to open at a much earlier stage. We note, and welcome, Simon Harris’s press statement that the Government will engage with any business that believes that they might be able to adapt to open in safe environment and we would like to avail of that opportunity.

Our studios and shops have more experience than most other businesses when it comes to cross contamination, disease control and surface disinfection. Our work, by its very nature, demands its participants to be cognisant at all times of the necessity of following rigorous standards of hygiene.  We have self regulated for many years. We would suggest that, with our heightened understanding of what Gold Standard hygiene practice looks like, we are better equipped than most to deal with the ever looming threat of infection. Mitigating the threat of infection, understanding Bloodborne pathogens and cross contamination is in our industriy's DNA. Furthermore we  are putting more protocols in place to ensure even more stringent measures will be implemented prior to (and during)  reopening.

Unfortunately Government has little knowledge, facts or figures regarding our industry (an issue we hope to fix with more constructive engagement and future dialogue) and we believe that this is why we are now being classed as “a service for which there is not a population wide demand” and put to the bottom of the reopening list. It is estimated that 13% of Europeans are tattooed. That rises to 36% in the under 40 age group.  It is also estimated that 72% of woman have ear piercings and 20% of the population have other piercings.

How many members of the Government are aware that:

·         Ireland, along with 31 other national members inside and outside of the EEA, participated in the drafting of an EU standard for tattooing over the last 5 years

·         that Ireland’s head of delegation in Europe during the 5 years is a member of this industry

·         that Ireland voted in favour of the EU standard on Safe and Hygienic tattooing in July 2019

·        that the standard I.S. EN 17169:2020&LC: 2020, was published by DIN, who held the secretariat, on January 2020 and by the NSAI on 12th March 2020.

We call on the Irish Government to meet and constructively engage with us with a view to our industry resuming normal trading when it is safe to do so.