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Eyeball tattoo better than smoking: artist


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Eyeball tattoo better than smoking: artist
 
skynews.img.1200.745.jpeg

The NSW government has come under scrutiny for only tightening regulation of the controversial procedure, with medical experts saying it should be banned outright.

Australia's only practising eyeball tattooist says demand is extremely low and the risks are no higher than drinking or smoking.

Earlier this month, the NSW government changed public health legislation to include eyeball tattooing in the same category as tongue piercing and tongue tattooing, subjecting it to infection control regulations.

 

The procedure involves injecting ink into the white part of the eyeball to permanently dye it.

Opposition health spokesman Walt Secord accused the government of effectively green-lighting the practice, and called the move a 'major stuff-up'.

He said eyeball tattooing was illegal in some US states because it could cause blindness and cancer, and should be banned in NSW.

Doctors warn the white part of the eyeball - the sclera - is extremely thin and highly sensitive and injecting it with a foreign substance could cause long-term inflammation or blindness.

'It may well be the most valuable organ we have outside the brain - to tinker with that in this way where there are potential risks is absolutely crazy,' Australian Society of Ophthalmologists president Dr Michael Steiner told AAP.

However, Melbourne-based tattooist Luna Cobra says he's performed the procedure to current safety standards for more than 10 years.

He called it safer than drinking or smoking, but also pointed out that he didn't actively recommend it to people.

'Any reports of a link between cancer and eyeball tattoos is only speculation and this has never been reported since I started this in 2007,' he told AAP.

'The demand is very low, less then 10 people across Australia ... about one eye per year.'

Health Minister Jillian Skinner has ordered an investigation into the risks, and said she would consider further protective measures.

'Any further action will be balanced against the need to ensure that eye injections that have real medical benefits are not banned as an unintended consequence,' she says - AAP

- See more at: http://www.skynews.c...h.FA4j3FpH.dpuf

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Dear God, what next?

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