AN UNLICENSED tattoo artist could face legal action from Newport council.

The authority said the woman was operating illegally from a house in the city, after apparently buying a kit from the internet.

Environmental health officers found no means of sterilisation or adequately cleaned equipment and needles were being reused.

All equipment was confiscated and court proceedings are being considered.

Councillor Gail Giles, cabinet member for licensing and statutory functions, is warning that this will not be tolerated in Newport.

She said: “It is extremely irresponsible and can result in serious health problems. Our officers will close down premises and take action against anyone found to be operating illegally.”

Unlicensed tattooing and skin piercing is dangerous, as there is a risk of blood-borne infections, such as Hepatitis B & C and HIV, if hygienic procedures are not strictly followed. Such infections can be transmitted by very small volumes of blood, sometimes not even visible.

Tattooing and other forms of skin piercing must be licensed by the council, which carries out inspections to ensure operators follow the law, including thorough and comprehensive cleaning and disinfection of all equipment and surfaces.

The council said domestic premises used for tattooing are highly unlikely to meet these stringent requirements.