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San Francisco Assemblywoman Proposes Stricter Regulation of Tattoo Shops…

January 21, 2010

“When you get your hair cut or your nails done in California, you know that your stylist or manicurist has attended school, received a license and is maintaining the businesses up to legally mandated standards.

You can even check the records online.

But if you decide to get a tattoo or body piercing, you’d have no such reassurance, because California doesn’t regulate body art practitioners.

Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, wants to change that. She also wants to ban the tattooing of anyone under age 18 – regardless of whether a parent consents.”

Honestly, it’s pretty shocking that there aren’t already regulations in place.  Ms. Ma is absolutely correct about the dangers of disease transmission without adequate sanitary measures.  In addition, I would advocate shop inspections along the same lines as those performed at restaurants by the department of public health.  This is yet another reason that I am a constant advocate of doing one’s due diligence and not cheaping out on a tattoo.  While an expensive tattoo is no guarantee of a sanitary environment, suffice it to say that a highly professional, and expensive tattooist has the experience, the motivation and the means to run a clean facility.  Make sure that your shop has an autoclave and talk to your artist about his/her sanitary measures before getting in the chair.  Hopefully these measures will ultimately take effect.  They will have no impact on the shops that are already doing business the right way, and will force other shops to start operating under proper sanitary conditions or risk losing their business.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Dayna R. permalink
    January 21, 2010 1:37 pm

    It is shocking that not every state has mandatory and highly enforced regulations on the practice of tattooing. I found this site that lists all of the tattooing regulations by state: Suffice to say that most states have very lax regulations, if any at all. Check out Connecticut, where I am originally from. It seems to have the most extensive list of regulations; most importantly all tattoo parlors are highly regulated by the department of health, signed consent forms are given, and records are kept for up to 2 years on every person that consents to being tattooed. Another interesting aspect regarding Connecticut tattoo laws, which I am not sure that I experienced while living there, is that this site states all tattoo parlors must be under the supervision of a physician. While this may seem extreme, I do believe that it would be useful to at least have a consulting physician on hand to contact via phone when issues to arise. I got my first tattoo when I was 15 in Connecticut. My mother was required to be present, show 2 forms of ID, and make the tattoo parlor a copy of my birth certificate to have on file. In addition, I was required to sign consent forms and a copy of the after care procedures so that they had this on file. Autoclaves were required in every room, each shop had a visible health a department certificate in view, and each artist was required to be red cross certified by taking a blood pathogen workshop. Having tighter regulations prevent spread of disease, infection, and makes it more difficult for minors to get tattoos that they may regret later in life.

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