Tattoo and Body Piercing Facilities

Regulations for tattoo and body piercing businesses were established in 1998 to protect the public from health and safety issues that may result from these activities if performed improperly.  

Diseases that may occur from contaminated needles include HIV and hepatitis, which are caused by viruses.  There is also a risk of bacterial infection involved with these activities, especially if proper aftercare procedures are not done.  

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All businesses must obtain a license from the local health department before they are permitted to open.  The health department does not license a business that does only ear piercing; the Ohio Board of Cosmetology regulates these facilities.  

All businesses are inspected at least once per year to ensure that the facility is operated in a safe and sanitary manner.  

Some rules which apply to Tattoo and Body Piercing establishments include:

  • All people performing tattoos and body piercing must have training in first aid and precautions against blood borne pathogens, such as HIV and hepatitis.  All infectious waste must be disposed of properly
  • The facility must be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition. 
  • All equipment used must be disposable or properly sterilized using acceptable sterilization methods.  Tests must be done weekly on sterilization equipment to ensure that it is working properly.  Records of these tests must be kept for 2 years
  • Anyone wanting a tattoo or piecing must be over the age of 18, or be accompanied by a parent or guardian, who must sign a consent form
  • Records must be kept by the business for at least 2 years for every procedure preformed.  These records must include the name and address of the customer, as well as the date of the procedure, the location on the body of the tattoo or piercing, and the color(s) of dye used, or the type of jewelry used.  These records are turned over to the health department in the event that a business closes
  • Disposable gloves must be worn during the procedure, and must be changed before a new procedure is begun.  Proper hand washing facilities must be available and used between procedures as well
  • Both written and oral instructions on how to properly care for a new tattoo or piercing must be given after the procedure is completed

If you are considering a tattoo or piercing, please contact the Logan County Health District with any questions you may have, and ask questions at the business before the procedure is started.  

If you feel uncomfortable with anything that you see, do not continue the procedure.  Remember, it is very important to follow aftercare instructions exactly as they are given to you, as this will help prevent the risk of a bacterial infection.

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