National survey of health in the tattoo industry: Observational study of 448 French tattooists
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University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland (Departments of Dermatology, Allergology and Venereology)
Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland (Department of Skin and Allergic Diseases)
Online publication date: 2017-02-13
Corresponding author
Nicolas Kluger   

Helsinki University Central Hospital, Department of Skin and Allergic Diseases, Meilahdentie 2, P.O. Box 160, FIN-00029 HUS, Finland
Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2017;30(1):111-20
Objectives: The data regarding the health of professional tattooists is inexistent. Tattooists are usually heavily tattooed and exposed daily to body fluids and skin-to-skin contacts with customers, tattoo inks, solvents, allergens, irritants, and work for hours often in inadequate positions using vibrating tattoo machines. We analyzed the health status of active French professional tattooists. Material and Methods: An observational self-reported Internet survey was performed among 448 tattooists who were members of the French Tattoo Union in November 2013. Results: The main physical complaints were musculoskeletal: back pain (65%), finger pain (41.5%) and muscular pain (28.8%). Finger pain, back pain, muscular pain and carpal tunnel symptoms/tingling sensations on the fingers occurred among 88%, 61.5%, 68% and 84% of the cases after having started their activity (p < 0.001). Other chronic diseases, autoimmune diseases and cancers remained at a low level here. Conclusions: Professional tattooists have a high prevalence of musculoskeletal complaints about back pain due to repetitive movements, awkward postures and use of a vibrating tattoo machine. Tattooists have a unique environment that imply developing intervention and preventive strategies for them. Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2017;30(1):111–120
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