Powell mom concerned minors are tattooing each other

Powell mom concerned minors are tattooing each other

Posted:
Steev White is a licensed tattoo artist, who tattoos in his licensed shop, Imagine That Tattoos. His wife and co-owner of the shop, Kellie White, says this is the only way tattoos should be given. Steev White is a licensed tattoo artist, who tattoos in his licensed shop, Imagine That Tattoos. His wife and co-owner of the shop, Kellie White, says this is the only way tattoos should be given.
"Scratchers have been around for years. The problem now is they don't have to make their own machines," Kellie White said. "Scratchers have been around for years. The problem now is they don't have to make their own machines," Kellie White said.
The Knox County Health Department says more minors are tattooing each other because it's easier than ever to buy the equipment. The Knox County Health Department says more minors are tattooing each other because it's easier than ever to buy the equipment.

By KAYLA STRAYER
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A Powell mom who owns a tattoo shop says she's concerned her daughter's peers are tattooing each other illegally and unsafely.

She says it's a growing problem among teenagers because of TV shows making tattoos more mainstream, and she adds it's too easy for them to buy tattoo equipment.

6 News took this mom's concerns to officials with Knox County Schools and the Knox County Sheriff's Office. Both say they have no reports of this happening on school grounds, or during school hours.

Steev White is a licensed tattoo artist, who tattoos in his licensed shop, Imagine That Tattoos. His wife and co-owner of the shop, Kellie White, says this is the only way tattoos should be given.

"If you're a licensed artist, then you do things the right way. You don't have to be second guessed," Kellie White said.

She says some minors aren't doing things the right way, adding her 16-year-old daughter's peers are tattooing each other with their own equipment.

"It's not just an issue at her high school. It's an issue in every high school, in every county in Tennessee," White said.

Unlicensed tattoo artists are sometimes called scratchers.

"Scratchers have been around for years. The problem now is they don't have to make their own machines," White said.

"A 10-year-old can go on the Internet if they've got $100 and buy tattoo equipment," said Ronnie Nease, director of environmental health for the Knox County Health Department.

He says more minors are tattooing each other because it's easier than ever to buy the equipment.

"A group of kids will get together, they'll pool their money and go buy some equipment and give each other tattoos. That is very dangerous because the potential of passing blood borne pathogens to each other and getting skin infections," Nease said.

Both say parents should educate themselves and their children.

"Be a parent and ask questions, find out what's going on. If you're child has been tattooed they do need to be checked for possible disease," White said.

Nease says it takes at least one year for an artist to be licensed, and once they are they have to renew every year. Also, tattoo shops get health inspections every few months.

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