Consumers warned to research their tattoo artists

Do you have a tattoo? Have you ever wanted one? Having our bodies adorned with "skin art" is a very personal choice, and one which should not be taken lightly. I myself have a very nice tattoo on my upper left arm which features the heads of five of nature's big cats. It's a one-of-a-kind piece, it has significant meaning to me, and I'm really quite proud of it.

Generally speaking, we take our tattoos to the grave with us. Unfortunately, a poor choice of tattoo parlors could make that trip happen prematurely. Although it may not seem like it, tattooing is a considerably invasive procedure, involving fairly significant trauma to one of our body's major defense systems.

Tattoo recipients in Edmonton, Canada have received a sharp wake-up call regarding the seriousness of being careful when choosing a tattoo or piercing artist. A long-standing tattoo shop there has recently been closed, due to concerns over its nonchalant health and cleanliness standards.