A ban on young people getting tattoos and body piercings is being proposed by Fianna Fáil.
Fianna Fáil Public Health Spokesperson, Waterford TD Mary Butler is tabling a bill which would prevent body artists from carrying out tattoos and intimate piercings, including to the tongue and breasts, on anyone under 18.
The Bill also aims to strengthen health and safety regulation in the sector.
Ears, noses, navels and eyebrows are not included in the proposed legislation.
The Bill has passed the first stage in the Dáil.
The Waterford TD said: “Although there is no published data on the prevalence of tattoos among the Irish population, a 2016 review in the medical journal Lancet states that up to 36% of people younger than 40 years have at least one tattoo, with many being first inked between the ages of 16 and 20 years.
“My own husband is a tattoo enthusiast so we know that getting a tattoo is a lifelong decision. Setting an age limit of 18 years effectively legislates for what is best in sector practise and targets rogue operators.
Mary Butler also said “Under our bill practitioners are not allowed to carry out or arrange intimate piercings including to the tongue and breasts on anyone under 18. Ears, noses, navels and eyebrows are not covered by the legislation.“We also need to ensure high health and safety standards amongst operators. The risks associated with tattooing and body piercing can range from acute infections to allergic reactions and can occur when the piercing or tattooing equipment becomes contaminated.”