Moonshin Tattoo Client Tests Positive for Hepatitis B

Well, this isn’t good. Last week, we mentioned the predicament in which Moonshin Tattoo and Peel Region find themselves—namely that, after it was discovered Moonshin had neglected its book-keeping for its sterilization practices for four years and that the local government had made no efforts to inspect the premises, both are now the subjects of a $20 million lawsuit by people who had been customers at the shop during the aforementioned period.

CityNews is now reporting, as seen above, that a man who received a tattoo from Moonshin in that time-frame has been diagnosed with hepatitis B.

“A close friend of mine went there before and said they were professional,” revealed the father and husband.

“You should feel comfortable and [be able to] get artwork done without fearing anything happening to you.”

A grain of salt is necessary here: The man has asked to remain anonymous, and his claim alone doesn’t prove anything. But, he also mentions he’d had blood-work done prior to getting the tattoo that recorded him as having a clean bill of health. If this is in fact true, and there’s nothing in his personal life to suggest he was exposed to the disease anywhere but Moonshin, this is a case that could have far-reaching and potentially devastating effects on future legislation.

Once again, there is no excuse at this point for irresponsible record keeping (or worse, sloppy practices not even worthy of record keeping). If you’re in the body modification industry and want to be taken seriously and treated like a professional by the public at large, then the onus is on you. It’s no secret what’s at stake; the fact that your carelessness can wreak havoc on an entire industry should be common knowledge. This isn’t to say there aren’t client-side responsibilities as well, like getting frequent blood tests if you’re getting body modification work done regularly, but nonetheless.

Whether or not the man interviewed above is telling the truth (and hopefully we’ll find out for certain soon, one way or the other), the fact that this is gaining traction at all isn’t doing the industry as a whole any favors. If Moonshin hadn’t dropped the ball, this probably wouldn’t be a story in the first place.

Tattoo Parlour, Peel Sued Over Possible HIV, Hepatitis Exposure [CityNews]

41 thoughts on “Moonshin Tattoo Client Tests Positive for Hepatitis B

  1. fuck!
    So close by.. wow.
    Is that the first person to ever test positive? (It’s the first time I heard of someone testing positive for Hep related to a tattoo)

  2. What a shame.

    It seems like common sense would dictate the cleanliness of a shop, but obviously there are plenty of people lacking that. There is no excuse from the shop or local government as to why there were no records, etc. It’s failure, plain and simple. I’d expect to read this story and the ‘shop’ being some dude’s kitchen.

    This will no doubt effect the industry in a very negative way, which just shows there are people out there who care more about the money than to about client/shop safety. [By the way, that's not me assuming anything about this particular shop, just more of a general statement].

    The shocking part is, that there is no single legislation which regulates the cleanliness of shops, which is something that even I didn’t know until quite recently.

  3. It is not confirmed they contracted HEP from any of the tattoos the man has. It is only confirmed he has tested positive for Hepatitis B. In the interview with him and City TV the man states he has recently tested positive and has blood work previous to getting his tattoo where he tested negative and has decided to join the class action lawsuit. This will be up to the courts to decide, and turn over every stone in this mans life to determine where he might have contracted Hepatitis B and how.

  4. I’m aware this could have a devastating affect on the industry… But I totally don’t blame those customers for sueing.
    As a modification artist you have a duty to protect your customer’s health. If I got a call from my usual place telling me to get tested for HIV, I would positively freak. It’s unacceptable.

  5. Sounds like the owner should be brought up on criminal charges if this is true

  6. “this is a case that could have far-reaching and potentially devastating effects on future legislation. ”

    The legislation was apparently there since the health department was supposed to check up on “personal care services”. This is a failure of enforcement, not legislation.

  7. When you buy an autoclave it comes with an example log sheet and directions.

    Every cycle is supposed to be logged including the temperature, pressure, time at pressure, items, operator and lot #. Everything that is autoclaved is supposed to have corresponding markings. Each spore test is supposed to be logged along with all maintenance procedures.

    It’s freakin easy! There’s no excuse for not doing this. Even if they didn’t spread any Hepatits, they should have their arses handed to them for being stupid, lazy or both.

    I have no sympathy for them. Thanks for the press, morons!

  8. I saw this on the news!! But it was in portuguese???
    Still youve got to be careful!

  9. Even if the autoclave worked, they were tattooing without bagging the machines…
    And yes, he could have got it a million ways…
    But.. Hep B, c’mon, there’s a vaccine!

  10. San, there is no evidence proving they did not bag their machines and the bag don’t bag argument can go on forever. If you are referring to the footage of someone getting tattooed in the video please watch it again and look in the corner of the frame where it indicates that it is library stock footage and not shot in Moonshin Tattoo.

    Regarding vaccinations, there is little education presented (no money for it) to the public about what vaccinations are available and where to get them. If you work in a high risk job where you are in potential contact with Blood or Other Potentially Infectious Material (OPIM) you are required to get the vaccination or you cant go to work and informed of this. Many vaccinations are now required before starting regular school, in many states and provinces HEP B vac is now included in that. As an Adult how many of you can name every vaccine you have received. Combining not knowing what/where and the general public’s fear of getting boosters cause THEY DO HURT! Makes for a very small percentage of adult Canadians without a vaccination. there is also religious reasons that will inhibit some from getting a vaccination.

    As I said earlier this person came forward with this disease and it will be up to the court and its investigators to look into every corner of the lives of everyone who has jumped on the class action suit to see if they where at risk only when they where tattooed at Moonshin.

  11. its sad because people are sue happy. the courts cant prove where he got it from and probly dont care. here a link of how hep b is contracted

    .Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. Toxins, certain drugs, some diseases, heavy alcohol use, and bacterial and viral infections can all cause hepatitis.

    this is directly from the cdc.

  12. That’s extremely misleading quoting of the CDC’s hepatitis information.
    Hepatitis B is transmitted through contact with infected body fluids– blood or fluids that contain blood.
    “Toxins, certain drugs, some diseases, heavy alcohol use…”? Not hep b.

  13. Had Moonshin Tattoo been using New Hole LLC products this issue would be null and void. New Hole LLC is the only manufacturer of two-stage piercing setups that are verified by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to be sterile. The sterilization of New Hole products is performed by one of the largest medical instrument sterilization facilities in the U.S. New Hole now makes it possible for professional piercers to provide medical grade standards to the client at an affordable price and is endorsed by David A.Vidra of Health Educators. At an additional cost of about $2.50 it is a very inexpensive insurance policy giving your client the highest possible sterilization available and great piece of mind. More information can be found at On a side note, New Hole LLC is only available to piercing professionals and is not available to the general public.

  14. I can’t decide whether to be terrified, disappointed, or something else entirely. While it’s awful and scary as hell that something like this happened, it could have been fully prevented. It wasn’t. Like others have said already, there is no excuse for this, and the fact that it happened, combined with the possibility of terrible consequences for the whole body modification industry, is just plain shameful.

  15. About a year ago, a friend of mine/my parents died due to Hepatitis after a long, ugly battle and two liver transplants; he was pretty sure he got it from a tattoo he had done in the ’80s.

    Regardless of whether this case was transmitted through tattooing or not, I’ll be thinking about this guy. Hepatitis is not a pretty illness; I wish him the best.

  16. if this is true then i am deeply sorry for the individuals infected with the virus..

    but just to also make people aware that hepatitis B can also be transmitted via sex, sharing of razors, toothbrushes or nail clippers..

    everyone should be having vaccinations against these viruses and blood work checked on a regular basis if you are into body modification, sexually active, working in health care settings, play full contact sports, injecting drug user, etc..

    i believe it is everyones responsibility, importantly that of a business providing a service such as tattooing or piecing..

    the same goes for Hepatitis A..

  17. ppl are liars is it proved that the shop made a mistake?

    and why sue 20 million at once here in Holland you don’t get that mutch money for a mistake

  18. this can be terrible for the industry if it’s true, then again the news is already outhere so proven or not, people will be misled by this….

    I think every darn artist has the duty to protect themselfs and their customers form every hazards that might be brought by… and it’s just stupid to see that’s although rules aren’t THAT tough people ignore them… it’s not kindergarden, the rules have a matter of sense in them…

  19. Before everyone goes off on the whole “the government should do something!” tangent, a few important points should be made.

    Do you think the high-end, well known, extremely reputable practitioners in this industry are that way because of Big Brother’s loving guidance or a deep conviction on what is right and a desire to be the best?

    Would you personally feel safer going to a hole-in-the-wall shop with some yahoo with a state inspection certificate, or some well-known artist working out of a hotel room at conference? (cough, cough… I mean, that never happens…)

    Did you perhaps notice the fact that the “tattoo shop” also performs shiatsu massage…in the vicinity of two other businesses called “sub social” and “precious lifestyles”…which sound suspiciously like whorehouses? Not that I know anything about that, but I am pretty good about smelling which way the wind is blowing.

    Admittedly, proper sterilization records SHOULD be kept, but all your good people do so already. They are valuable metrics for base performance, but are essentially meaningless if proper cross-contamination avoidance protocols aren’t in effect. However, all the certificates in the world, all the government inspectors, all the multitude of products are WORTHLESS if in the hands of the unscrupulous operator. At the same time, providing the best body modification services around will NOT stop some people from making extremely ill-advised changes to their body. You cannot legislate morality, ethics, or good judgement.

    The best solutions- for practitioners, join us in the fight for the top. For the fans, support the artists who deserve it, instead of going with cheaper or closer to your house. If you do either already, more than likely you won’t be getting poorly done work anyway. More regulation only makes more hoops to jump through for the ethical, and gives a state-sanctioned veneer of respectability to the undeserving. We just got a fantastic piece of legislation here which creates myriad new headaches and odious new costs, but exempts the stud-gun butchers at the mall…and was created at the behest and with the help of prominent industry people. Is that what we want? Do we really want business to be tougher, more expensive, more controlled by bureaucrats, to the benefit of the taxman and the so-called “artist” who cannot survive on reputation alone?

    This whole thing reeks of Heglian dialectic fearmongering to get the masses to beg their masters for more rules. Of course, logic usually loses to emotion, so cue the chorus of nattering nabobs.

  20. #18: Are you saying people should have vaccines against Hep A, or are you saying you’re likely to contract Hep A if you are into “body modification, sexually active, working in health care settings, play full contact sports, injecting drug user, etc..”.?

    A tattoo or piercing shop isn’t really the kind of place to contract that particular Hep strain. Hep C, yes – Hep A, less likely.

  21. I’m not jumping on this bandwagon just yet. As mentioned by other people there is a vaccine for Hepatitis B and there is no evidence that he contracted Hepatitis B from that tattoo parlor. The fact that at some earlier point in time he tested negative and now, at some later date he tested positive does not prove to me he contracted it from a tattoo. There are a lot more common and likely scenarios that do not offer the monetary windfall of contracting hepatitis from a tattoo parlor. I think everyone here got caught with their proverbial pants down, the shop was not keeping records and the health department was not enforcing. Now everyone wants someone to blame, I blame them all.

  22. im surprised this isnt happening regularly.
    its amazing what some shops/ hacks get away with…even when their local health dept knows they are substandard!!

    PS: so your saying that people who get body art/ modification are responsible for getting blood tests on a regular basis??
    thats new to me, are you being sarcastic?

  23. Heretic138: I don’t think it’s out of line to suggest that people who are getting pierced/tattooed/etc. very often get their blood tested with some regularity. If you’re engaging in frequent activities where you could potentially be exposed to blood-borne diseases, wouldn’t it make sense to ensure you’re in good health? I’m not saying follow up every piercing with a trip to the walk-in clinic, but I just think it’s common sense and a good practice.

  24. As has been mentioned, this case will hinge on proving that this gentleman contracted Hep B due to negligence on the part of the staff of this studio. Trying to prove the source of an infection beyond reasonable doubt would surely become less likely as more and more time passes after the tattooing. If anyone can cite a case where the source of an infection had been proven/disproven, please post some info.

    And I’m not defending the studio here. I don’t know if the studio was good, bad, the best, or the worst. But I think people are jumping to conclusions a little too quickly based on too little info. From what I read, the case is based on a failure to log sterilization adequately. Do they mean spore testing or logging of each sterilization cycle? There is no mention. If it is the former, then the fault may lie with the local health authorities and their failure to ensure that the studio had up-to-date information on the required standards of practice.

    Up here in North Bay (also in Ontario), we were only told within the last year(ish) that we should be logging every cycle. The health unit were surprised and happy to see that we were already doing so. The studio in question had not been inspected in years. It is entirely possible that they were never told of this requirement.

  25. Phil: Sorry, did not see that. Just figured they’d use footage from the shop on their video…
    The vaccine in schools was introduced like, 2 years before I got it.. so I think 1994-1995? And I’m 24.. So then a lot of people older than 26 may not have had it?
    The Hep A vaccine is really expensive according to my doctor, and I’m not sure if Hep B is one you have to pay for if you get it outside of school…
    The guy could also be bullshitting and have got it someway else, and say, hey lawsuit! money for me!
    But it’s still no excuse for a shop to cut corners.
    Or no excuse for the health department to ignore something like that for so long..

  26. San: He could very well be bullshitting however that will be for the court to decide.
    Unfortunately for the shop and the industry in that city the court of public opinion will also decide with help of the media and and the public vote with their wallets.

  27. San: Hep B vaccination is always free. Hep A you don’t have to pay for if you are in an “at risk” category of exposure, e.g. IV drug user, and they present you with a list of reasons you may require it. You are not required to state which risk category applies to you, you just have to say that you’re in one of those categories. So yeah, it’s not common knowledge I know, but you can get both for free at any health unit.

  28. For those working in Tattoo/Piercing Shops, rumor has it in Ontario working in a shop puts you in a high risk category to get the HEP A vaccine for free.

  29. i am one of those 3000 people… i got my tatt in 2007… i went and got my blood work done today… and hopefully in 2 weeks i can say i am free and clear…though this news has me a bit more freaked out because i havent gotten my results back and he is saying he’s got it… but didnt before the tattoo… keep us all in your thoughts that this will all turn out

  30. Pingback: BME: Tattoo, Piercing and Body Modification News » ModBlog » This Week in BME

  31. I live so close to here, got my tattoo done at Xtremeties down the street.
    Everyone told me to go to Moonshin but it was just too sketchy for me, lucky I didn’t. A lot of friends did and are getting tested, it’s really sad.

  32. Some information,

    Again the media has gotten it wrong. The man in said article/television has not filed a case. Infact the Peel Board has no confirmed cases against this business. I know MoonShin and the owners, what I have always seen is new needles coming out of the boxes with the name Eikon disposable sterilize needles. Even the black and white tubes are all sterilize and single use!

    When they used steel, they would show the chemical strips on the packaging and explain how the color changes when proved sterile! I KNOW THE OWNERS WERE VERY STRICK ON STERILIZATION, THEY WERE NEVER CLOSED AND THE LAST INSPECTION PAST!(I SAW THE INSPECTION REPORT AND CLAVE REPORTS)

    The Health Board screwed this up, and a lawsuit is filed against the board.In time, the truth will come out. Wait for it, before you will even condem.

    I was told by many that the Health Board workers who phoned them were claiming that they found HIV., Hep on their needles ( even on the toliet seat) etc.., they were re using their needles, dirty ink, auto clave never worked,( everything to scare you, with out any proof) and telling their clients all this, before the media was involved. Then of course the media exploitedd everything. Bad news sells!

    Before condemming any business, I was told that the owners will wind up very rich after a few years in the courts.

    p.s. Ask the owners, and they will probally tell you,”no comment”, rumour has it, it was also a set up with the other competitor.

  33. I watched the news, read the newspapers.At the end of the day I haven`t read anything on this lawsuit against Peel Region or on MoonShin Tattoo.

    I truly believe that bad news sells newspapers, like this article. The first two paragraphs, whow!!! , Then a grain of salt. Come on writer, where are your facts? Did he get it AND proved that it was by a tattoo? My simple questions are not answered.

    These days, I would rather read fact, not what a reporter is re-hashing.

    My only thought is” Moonshin Tattoo Client Tests Positive for Hepatitis B”.
    Why now, we read nothing on a law suit from this man ( infact any lawsuit). In fact, I was given something extra from a tattoo, I would make it a real point to mass media, to keep it in the news, ( after all a 20 million doller suit is very news worthy) This is not happening!
    Why are the owners not in jail for infecting all these people?
    Something smells horrible here and until the truth comes out, we will never know. I am not going to jump onto any band wagon until I know a lot more then what I have read in the papers.


  34. this guy needs to stop takin it in the pooper and then makin false accusations against Moonshin!!

    got my memorial tat dun there… NOTHIN CAME UP ON RESULTS! my friend had piercing and 3tats + baby… NOTHING ON RESULTS at child birth! her aunt had 46tats dun there… STILL NOTHING!

  35. Pingback: BME: Tattoo, Piercing and Body Modification News » ModBlog » Full Coverage: Links From All Over (June 16, 2009)

  36. I was tattooed at Moonshin shop in 2005 and 2006 by Chuckster, and i was very pleased with the out come, and yes; he used a brand new needle on me every time and he put plastic covering on the tattoo gun as well…i get myself tested in 2008 for HIV and STDS and all my result are negative. I get like about 15 tattoos done there and I’m fine, so i don’t know what’s going on here…i wish them the best of luck

    P.S. hmm…I think it’s a setup by one of their competitor, and if that’s the case shame and them. Also remember karma can be a bitch.

  37. Well here it is 2011 and not one person has come forward with anything about Moonshin. It’s too bad that good people were forced to close down because one of their competition sent an anonymous call to the Peel Board. Nothing has been proved.

    My tattoos were done by Evel and I never had a problem. I hope to see Chuckster and Evel get back in business and do their job.

    One employee that they could do without is the Korean woman Gwan Soon. She was so rude when I went in for a piercing.

    Everyone else was great. It was like going to a party and Chuckster and Evel had it made.

  38. I have heard and seen that Chuckster and Evel have opened a shop in Peel Region under the heading of The Dawn of Evel. The website is It is located about two door down from Gwan Soon, who left Chuckster because of the head ache this scare caused.They are now in the middle of a divorce and this is a pretty bad story too.

    Also too, did anyone else recieve a letter stating that the Peel Health Board has decided to pay out of court settlement for the scare that they cause to all of us. I was told, it was over 5000 people tested and not one case of anything. I recieved mine back about a month or two.

    Lastly, I stated this before and will say it again. The media is only interested in selling news, not the true facts .
    Peace out

  39. There are many cases I have found about shops being linked to infecting clients. How ever I have a much harder time finding any cases where freelance businesses doing tattoos have infected any clients. So whats that tell you. I think freelance is better in many ways.

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