CALGARY - Two Calgary companies are upset with Alberta Health Services, saying they never should have been put on a list of seven home-based tattoo and piercing parlours closed because of health concerns.
One day after being named on that list, business at Latino Tattoo Removal was non-existent Thursday.
"We had customers phoning all day yesterday ... a lot of cancellations and we were just put in the wrong department," said Nicole Kilthau.
She said the company doesn't actually offer tattoos - it focuses on laser tattoo removal, a service in which the equipment never pierces the skin.
Robert Lazerik, owner of Latino Tattoo, acknowledged his business was shut down by Alberta Health but he said that's because he failed to get a business licence, not because his service posed any kind of health risk.
Alberta Health Services has said it found ink on site but Lazerik said he never used the ink, he only sold it.
Outlaw Tattoo was also on the list released Wednesday.
Owner Jeff Barker admitted Alberta Health had every right to shut him down for not having a licence or a stainless steel sink but he questioned his inclusion on the list because he was allowed to reopen last month.
"Just to be thrown in that group when we are very fastidious here, it just throws a black eye on the whole home-based business scene," said Barker.
Barker applauded health officials for investigating home-based tattoo parlours but said a distinction should be made between the bad ones and those which made a few simple mistakes.
Health officials insisted there were good reasons for naming each of the seven businesses. They are still encouraging anyone who got a tattoo or a piercing at the businesses to get tested for hepatitis and HIV.
So far, more than 30 people have contacted provincial officials to arrange for testing.