Local News

Hook Given to Body Piercing Shop

(Niles, MI) - The hook has been given to a shop for practicing unsafe body piercing.

As a result, select customers at Paparazzi Tattoo & Body Piercing could have been exposed to blood pathogens and should undergo blood tests for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV, according to the Berrien County Health Department.

 The operating license of the business in Niles has been suspended for improper sterilization of metal forceps used in some of the procedures, BCHD officials said.

 The recommendation applies to customers who have ever received piercings to areas like their navel, tongue, nipples and genitals at the facility, officials said.

Recipients of just ear and nose piercings at the shop are not at-risk and don’t require testing, according to BCHD.

Officials said the health department is working to notify people with records of having received the piercings at question from the store to recommend testing and offer guidance.

Testing should be sought from a health care provider, officials said.

Individuals without a primary care provider, though, can be tested at the health department office in Niles every Tuesday and Thursday and every Monday and Thursday at the Benton Harbor branch, officials said.

Health department officials noted they not have identified any case of disease associated with the unsafe practices but the investigation is ongoing and symptoms of an infection may not show up for many years.

A hotline has been established to answer questions or concerns from the public at 1-800-815-5485.

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