for tattooed people, and those who want to be

Safe bodies in California


The front page story in the Los Angeles Daily News today featured photos of tattoo artists at work. Right in the

English: Tattoo parlor shop. New York City 2005

English: Tattoo parlor shop. New York City 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

center of the front page. My first thought was “Hey, we made it!” and then I read the headline, which explains that as of July 1, tattoo and piercing artists and others who work in “body modification” in California will have to take health-practices training and the places where they work will have to register with the state. Surprisingly, there has been no state regulation till now, and only six counties had regulations like that.

The story seemed generally positive about it all. The tattoo parlor owners said that their places were already in compliance with the health and sanitation requirements, so this would place no particular burden on them. I imagine that’s the case with most reputable tattoo parlors in California. I was surprised to see that the ear piercing kiosks in malls got an exemption. You’d think that those places more than any other should have to follow health regulations and have their employees take training. Apparently the fact that they use “single use needles” got them an exemption–but those needles go into piercing guns that get reused pretty much forever. I’ve never seen an autoclave at an earring store or kiosk.

One of the most important regulations is that now it’s mandatory that no one under 18 can get tattooed even with their parents’ permission.  Definitely a step in the right direction.

Apparently there was a study done in 2007 that showed that 40% of people then aged 26 to 40 had a tattoo.  I guess that’s an indication that we’re becoming a multicolored nation! Wonder what the percentage is like today?

What do you think about state licensing and regulation of tattoo and piercing parlors?

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