Story last updated at 1:46 p.m. Thursday, December 5, 2002

State out of step
It is quite admirable that Alaska is keeping up with modern times by licensing tattoo artists and hair stylists. Every one of us wants to reduce the chance of a bad haircut. With licensed tattoo artists we are also increasing the odds that a true artist is creating a work of art that will be enjoyed for many years to come.

Health and safety issues are probably the greater concern with licensing of the above-mentioned hairstylists and tattoo artists. Not one of us wants to catch a disease from an improperly trained or unlicensed artist. An incurable variety of any disease is even more undesirable.

There are more than 35 states that are concerned enough about their health consumers that they have adopted recommendations for state licensure of radiologic personnel. Alaska is not one of the 35. The Consumer-Patient Radiation Health and Safety Act, passed by Congress in 1981, has provided states with guidelines for education and licensure for quality radiology personnel. A bill proposing an addendum to the 1981 bill, the CARE Act, has been introduced in Congress. If passed, this bill will make state compliance mandatory. If the state does not comply, it will lose Medicaid funding.

Where is Alaska's concern for its health consumers?

As an Alaskan citizen, are you concerned?

Donna Rufsholm, Licensure Committee chair

Alaska Society of Radiologic Technologists

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