Dáil Éireann - Volume 550 - 28 February, 2002

Written Answers. - Body Piercing.

[171]   109. Mr. Allen asked the Minister for Health and Children if he proposes to introduce regulations to control body piercing. [7348/02]

  Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): My Department has from time to time been asked to regulate in some way the activities of persons providing body piercing services.

  The approach being adopted is to prepare “good practice” guidelines for practitioners rather than draw up specific regulations. It is intended that these guidelines will also serve to assist environmental health officers in their inspection of premises under the infectious diseases regulations.

  It is also intended to produce an advice and information leaflet for the general public about the possible risks attached to body-piercing and tattooing.

  While a considerable amount of work has been undertaken to date, the guidelines are not yet finalised. Further consideration of the issues involved and further consultation with appropriate interested parties is necessary before my Department will be in a position to bring the guidelines to completion. Due to other competing demands it is not possible at this stage to put a timeframe on the completion of these guidelines.

  Under the Infectious Diseases Regulations, 1981, health boards are empowered where there is reason to believe that a suspected case of an infectious disease or a probable source of infection exists, to take such steps as are necessary or desirable for investigating the nature and source of such infection, for preventing the spread of such infection and for removing conditions favourable to infection.