TOLEDO (WTVG) -- Thinking about getting some permanent ink?
Think about checking the digital ink first.
Just like restaurants, tattoo shops are inspected by the health department.
"There's nothing worse than getting a tattoo and then, next thing you know, it comes with a free infection," says Ben Richards, the Head Body Piercer at Needlemasters Tattoo Studio on South Reynolds Rd. in Toledo.
In all, there are 43 body art facilities across Lucas County.
Needlemasters has its Body Art Operation and Inspection Certificates posted on the wall, so customers know the shop is licensed and approved.
Health inspectors also make regular visits and fill out reports. In fact. Lucas County sanitarians have always conducted inspections at tattoo shops, but it was not until May 2019 they started putting them online for you to see.
Now, when you go to the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department website hosted by Healthspace, you can check the results of those latest inspections before you get a tattoo or piercing.
To search Body Art Inspections in Lucas County, CLICK HERE: Toledo-Lucas Co. Health Department Inspections
"It's great," says Josh Herrera, Tattoo Artist at Needlemasters. "It's something so that the public can view and, like you said, the transparency. Everybody can see who's clean and who's not clean."
Before May 2019, the health department states:
"... body art, campground, and recreational water (public pools) inspections, weren't available online, only the food facility inspections were available online ... these are all state mandated fee programs."
"Tattoos and body piercings are something that can have a serious impact on your health if not done properly and taken care of properly," agrees Richards.
That's why Needlemasters and The Toledo-Lucas Co. Health Dept. recommend you check the inspections online before you select a shop to get a tattoo or piercing.