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U.S. News

Ohio: West Milton Council Bans Tattoo, Body-Piercing Shops

November 12, 2007

Last month, officials in West Milton voted 4-2 to prohibit tattoo and body-piercing parlors from operating in the city, citing the potential of unsterile needles to spread hepatitis and HIV. The town of 4,700, located north of Dayton, may be the first Ohio city to ban the businesses.

"I just don't see how a small town can say, 'No, you can't do that here,'" said Candy Curry, who owns Curry Video Plus on Miami St. "I just think they crossed a line there," said the West Milton native.

A 1998 Ohio law states that nothing prevents local laws "that prohibit the establishment of businesses that offer tattooing or body-piercing services." To operate in Ohio, tattooing and piercing parlors must receive local health department approval.

"Certainly we had the authority to pass the ordinance," said Chuck Sell, the city's law director. "It's probably an aggressive step, but the village has decided that's how they want to proceed."

The ordinance notes the town council recognizes the "threat of AIDS/HIV and hepatitis through contaminated needles and other instruments used for the purposes of tattooing, body piercing, scarification, and branding." Mayor Mike Vickers, who voted for the ban, called the risk of infection "small and slight" but nonetheless present.

While the council did not contact Miami County Health District officials in crafting the ordinance, Municipal Manager Tony Howard said the city did its research. "It's a health issue," he said. "It's just an open invitation to infection." Residents can find tattoo and piercing parlors in neighboring Troy or Englewood, he added.

Back to other news for November 2007

Adapted from:
Dayton Daily News
11.07.2007; Ben Sutherly

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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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