California tattoo & body piercing regulations are now inked

FRESNO, California

At Faithful and True Tattoo Studios in Downtown Fresno, an 18 year old woman didn't even flinch while getting letters permanently inked on her upper body.

Everett Verdialez owns the tattoo shop and has been designing tattoos for more than five years. He said most professional tattoo artists he knows support California's new "Safe Body Art Act."

"I think it's something that's been needed in Fresno County for a long time," Verdialez said. "There was never a standard before so there weren't any guidelines telling people what safe practice is and what's not. Now there is so it holds people to a standard."

The new state law requires all tattoo artists and body piercing practitioners to register with their county's public health department, and the studios in which they work will be regulated as well.

"We have to have a functioning sink with hot water in every room that tattoos are being done," Verdialez said. "We have to wear aprons, of course use disposable needles. We have to have what is called an infectious control plan which is basically you're whole outline of how you are going to keep safe inside of the shop."

Fresno County Department of Public Health Director David Pomaville told Action News, the industry itself worked closely with the state to draft the new rules.

Pomaville said, "The new law is set to impose new statewide standards for businesses conducting tattooing, body piercing and the application of permanent cosmetics."

He said county health agencies will enforce the new regulations. His department will inspect more than 100 shops each year.

Pomaville added, "We are permitting each facility and the cost of that is $176 per year currently and if you're a practitioner it's an additional $41 dollars."

Verdialez says it's a small price to pay to keep his customers and his employees safe.

"It's going to improve the industry," said Verdialez.

It's also important to know that you can always ask if a facility has registered with the county health department. All shops are required to post a copy of their registration inside the business. And if you're still unsure, you can call your county health department and ask.

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