Public health care can’t keep up with body modifications
Public health authorities across Canada are struggling to address the growing popularity of body modifications such as splitting one’s tongue like a snake’s and surgically altering ears to make them elf-like and pointy, fearing the spread of infection in an unregulated industry.
Last Wednesday, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health’s board of health received a report warning that one can suffer a “serious or possibly life-threatening consequence” while undergoing one of these surgical-like procedures in a “non-clinical” environment where there’s a higher threat of contracting HIV or hepatitis B and C.
Scarification, which is effectively carving or branding an image into your skin, and suspension, which involves being hung from the ceiling on hooks lodged into your back, are among the more common forms of extreme body modification happening in tattoo and piercing shops across the country who often yield to squeamish health inspectors who judge before they do their work, body modifiers say. (Photo: Laura Morton/Seattle Times)