Missouri Tries to Make Its Mark on Tattoo, Piercing Business
March 3, 2003
Under new public safety rules designed to prevent the spread of diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis, Missouri tattoo shops must now pass inspections and be licensed or else face misdemeanor charges. The Missouri Department of Economic Development established the Office of Tattooing, Body Piercing and Branding, which sent out a mailing last month that informed shops of the new rules and provided license applications. Shop owners have 30 days from when they received the letters to comply.Adapted from:
Mike Reid, a former state representative, said the new regulations follow precautions recommended by CDC. The shops must ensure that equipment is sterilized, needles are changed, and each customer has a separate ink cartridge. "Our concern here is public safety. People always worry about the spread of hepatitis and AIDS. This is an invasive procedure. When you tattoo someone, you are drawing blood to the surface," said Vanessa Beauchamp, executive director of the office.
"We back it, we really do. We are always fixing up stuff that unsanitary and unregulated people do," Rick Winfield, owner of Class Act Tattooing and Body Piercing in St. Louis, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He also added that he has been trying for years to get St. Louis County to pass an ordinance regulating tattoo businesses.
The new rules require an establishment to pay a fee of $500 if it provides any one of the three regulated activities. If it provides more than one, the cost is $600. Each operator in a shop will pay $100, or $200 if they perform more than one of the three services. Licenses are good for two years and can be renewed using the same fees. Temporary licenses are available and would also require an inspection and fees. The state hopes to have businesses licensed by July 1, said Beauchamp.
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.