Rules exist for a reason

Most people take it for granted that products and services available on the open market are safe. But only vigilance by local, as well as state and federal, regulatory agencies makes that feeling of protection possible.

Good for the Jefferson County Health Department, as well as local law enforcement agencies, for acting quickly and decisively on a complaint.

On Friday, an unlicensed tattoo parlor in Jefferson County was shut down. Officials have not yet identified the establishment, or where it was located.

Health department officials, assisted by the Wintersville Police Department and county adult probation officers, went to the parlor, removed equipment used for tattoos and skin piercing, and shut the place down, said Health Commissioner Nicole Balakos. They did so after receiving a tip.

Businesses offering those services are required to be licensed and to follow safe, sanitary procedures, Balakos noted.

With all the challenges facing our area, shutting down a tattoo parlor may not sound like a priority. It should be, however, because of the risk of communicable diseases being spread.

Certain licenses required by the state, including those for tattooing and piercing, exist for good reasons. Those requirements protect the public’s health and safety ­– but only if they are enforced.

“We want to ensure the safety of all the residents of Jefferson County, and that includes making sure those operations such as tattoo and piercing establishments are operating in a clean and sanitary manner,” Balakos said. “We have ethical operators who spend time and money to train, establish businesses and follow the rules. Those operators are using clean needles and sanitizing their work spaces, disposing of items in safe methods and exhibiting concern for the welfare of others. We will investigate and take action on confirmed reports of violators.”

Good for Jefferson County authorities for doing that. They and counterparts elsewhere should keep up the good work.