Rules review ongoing for tattoos, body art

SALEM – The city health department is still in the process of reviewing new local rules proposed for tattoo and body art establishments and artists.

City Health Commissioner Richard Setty explained the purpose of the new rules would be “to bolster the state rules.”

“There’s no need for us to duplicate anything in the state rules,” he said during a health board meeting this past week.

Setty updated board members on the status of a local proposal to require licensing of individual tattoo and body piercing artists, in addition to the licensing of the shop where they work, which is already required.

Scott Guappone, who serves as manager of State Street Tattoo in Salem and also serves as the tattoo establishment representative to the city health department’s District Licensing Council, first approached board members in May about making changes locally to require more of artists.

Part of the proposal presented in June required a set amount of hours of training. The new state rules require verification of training but don’t require a certain number of hours of training.

The hours requirement would fall under a section requiring each artist seeking registration to provide evidence of appropriate training. An apprentice would have to provide a statement signed by the instructor who must be a registered tattooist or body piercer.

The local proposal is similar to local rules in Mahoning County which require each individual artist in a shop to secure a license/registration. The current state regulations, which the city follows, only require the shop to secure a license.

New and revised Ohio Department of Health rules for tattoo and body piercing establishments take effect Sept. 1, establishing updated sterilization and disinfection procedures, new ear piercing gun standards, new safety and sanitary standards and additional requirements for tattoo services and body piercing services.

City health board members asked that the local proposal be run through a meeting of the District Licensing Council for a recommendation that can be presented to the board, but the council has not met yet.

Setty also said the proposal has been given to city Law Director Brooke Zellers for his review, which remains pending.