House OKs tattoo, body piercing health standards


Legislation to establish state health standards for the tattoo and body piercing industry has cleared the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

House Bill 456 would require the state Department of Health to establish sterilization, sanitation and safety standards.

Tattoo artists and body piercers would have to pass a written test on the safety standards to become registered.

State Rep. Tony DeLuca (D-Allegheny) said the state Health Department would have to inspect a business before it can become registered, and it would have to keep a registry of tattoo artists and body piercers and the places where they work.

“Employees who perform these procedures are not subject to state health standards or regulations, and they may be practicing in unsterile environments. Given the risk of infection these procedures pose, it’s critical that we act now to safeguard Pennsylvanians.”

The bill also would prohibit tongue-splitting unless performed by a state-licensed physician or dentist, and it would ban eyeball tattooing unless performed under the direction of a doctor.

The legislation is awaiting consideration in the Senate.

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