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U.S. News

Michigan: Bill May License Tattoo Parlors

September 26, 2007

The Michigan Department of Community Health would be put in charge of licensing tattoo parlors under a bill approved by the Senate Health Policy Committee and now being considered by the full Senate. The measure would also require local health departments to inspect the businesses on a yearly basis. Unsafe tattoo practices carry the risk of diseases including HIV, hepatitis B, tetanus, and tuberculosis.

Many tattoo artists have endorsed the measure. Also in favor is the American Red Cross (ARC), which sees the measure as a way to increase the potential pool of blood donors. The people most likely to get a tattoo -- 18- to 20-year-olds -- are also those most likely to donate blood, and federal law requires a one-year waiting period after a tattoo before a person can give blood. That provision, however, is waived if the donor can prove the tattoo was done at a state-licensed facility.

"From September to May, that's the chief donor pool," Sharon Jaksa, head of ARC-Great Lakes Region, said of school- and college-based blood drives. "On some of our blood drives, we'll have to defer up to 50 percent of the students who show up to donate."

The rules, which would take effect Jan. 1, 2009, stipulate:

  • Each tattoo parlor must be inspected by the local health department before being licensed and again annually.
  • Workers would have to conform to federal standards to prevent transmission of blood-borne diseases.
  • Tattoos would be applied under sterile conditions only.
  • Parlors would have to keep confidential records of customers.
  • Parlors would face fines if they provided body-piercing kits or devices to minors.

Back to other news for September 2007

Adapted from:
Detroit News
9.21.2007; Gary Heinlein

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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.
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