Eyeball tattooing has been “unwittingly legalised” by health legislation passed by the NSW state government, according to Labor health spokesman Walt Secord.
Eyeball tattooing – the practise of injecting ink into the white part of the eye to make it a solid or mix of colour – was effectively legalised when it was included in a number of health amendments enacted on 19 February 2016.
The amendment declared that “eyeball tattooing, tongue piercing and tongue tattooing are skin penetration procedures”.
Mr. Secord said the practice had been banned in some American states as it can cause blindness and has been linked to cancer.
RANZCO warned that body modification artists are not medically trained and should in no way be performing these permanent and potentially vision harming procedures
“Doctors have advised that they are very reluctant to undertake any procedure like this and the Baird government should not be regulating this area. It should be banning the practice,” he told news.com.au.
In March 2014 the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) issued a public statement warning against the practise of tattooing the sclera.
The statement quoted corneal specialist Associate Professor Mark Daniell who said, “The eye is a very complex and sensitive organ and in no way should anyone consider tattooing it if they wish to retain their sight over the long term. Infection, pain and potential blindness are all risks. A major concern would also be losing the eye due to penetration of the globe”.
RANZCO warned that body modification artists are not medically trained and should in no way be performing these permanent and potentially vision harming procedures.
NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner has said a ban on eyeball inking for cosmetic reasons was now on the cards.
“I’ve sought advice as to whether there are any legitimate medical reasons for eyeball tattooing and if there are not then I will consider measures to ban the practice,” she said.