The Mesa County Health Department has seen an increase in body artists operating without a certificate of inspection which may put them and their customers at risk of infection.

The Health Department requires body artists which include persons and businesses who do piercings, tattoos, branding, sculpting, scarification, and permanent cosmetics to have a certificate of inspection that ensures sanitation, safety, and health standards.

In order to be certified, these businesses must meet the Health Department's minimum standards of practice so they are not exposing the artist or their clients to hepatitis B and C viruses, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or other blood-borne pathogens, some of which can be fatal.

The Health Department encourages people to ask to see the certificate of inspection before using a body artist.

According to Mesa County Health Department records, there are 14 certified body art establishments in the county.

People wishing to report a body artist who is not certified, or if you're a body artist who would like to apply for certification, contact the Mesa County Health Department at 970 248-6900.