Illegal Tattoos and Piercings at Homes and Parties Have Locals Concerned

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Valdosta, Georgia- July 17, 2012

A magician kitchen is slang for a tattoo or piercing station set up in someone's home or at a party. County officials have gotten two calls about these 'kitchens' in the last week ... and that has parents in the community concerned.

Four years ago, Lowndes County adopted new safety rules for tattoo and piercing parlors - But the stricter rules pushed rebels to forego the brick and mortar and set up shop in their homes and at parties.

One local mother, Carrie Loving, says "as a parent of a 16-year-old daughter I mean, of course, it's highly disturbing to me to think that that's going on."

Lowndes County Clerk Paige Dukes says "It can be terrifying you know.. to know that your child can be at a party or just be over at a friends house and receive a tattoo or a piercing. And you know maybe the needles aren't clean, maybe the needles aren't new."

With two complaints reported in the last week some say the behavior is picking up. Kevin Tison used to run a 'Magician Kitchen.'
He now operates a legal tattoo parlor called Hollywoods Twisted Needle in Valdosta. But he's still aware of the dangers that exist with illegal ink.

He said "they could have hepatitis, they could have all kind of other communicable diseases that not only can you catch but it can spread on to your family members."

Without regulation the dangers can be unlimited. Richard Kerby is a health inspector with the Lowndes County Health Department. He said "we can't inspect a facility if we don't know where it is. And we don't know whether it's antiseptic, we don't know what kind of procedure they're following, we don't know if they're using needles more than once."

In order to make a complaint that can be followed up on you have to reach out to the Lowndes County Health Department. There number is below: