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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

CALIFORNIA: Valley Tattoo Shops, Artists Face Inspections




 

Fresno Bee (05.06.12) - Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A law requiring California counties to enforce new safety rules for tattoo and body piercing shops goes into effect July 1. Under the Safe Body Art Act, these businesses will be subject to public health permitting, inspections and standards. The law will impact nearly 200 shops in Fresno County alone.

Currently, tattooing and body piercing are unregulated in much of the state - meaning health inspectors do not ensure equipment is sterilized, shops are clean or practitioners are trained.

"This is long overdue," said Dave Olvera, manager of Tower Tattoos in Fresno's Tower District. "Fresno is known for its bad shops. There are people working out of their homes. I saw a tattoo shop operating out of a gas station." A health certificate from the county would reassure customers that safety standards are in place, he said.

The law requires shops to obtain annual permits from county health departments. It also requires individual practitioners to register. As part of registration, practitioners must undergo training on blood-borne diseases, get vaccinated against hepatitis B, and have more than six months' experience in their field.

Fresno County recently began mailing out notices about the law to known body art practitioners; however, health officials concede that others exist.



 


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Information in this article was accurate in May 16, 2012. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.