Body Art Sterilization Guidelines
1997, Senate Bill No. 13 was passed. This bill addressed tattooing in Indiana.
The following are highlights of this legislation:
The law defined
tattooing as: (1) any indelible design, letter, scroll, figure, symbol, or other
mark placed with the aid of needles or other instruments; or (2) any design, letter,
scroll, figure, or symbol done by scarring upon or under the skin.
lists criminal penalties for tattoo artists that provide tattoos to persons less
than 18 years, unless a parent or legal guardian is present at the time the tattoo
is provided and provides written permission for the person to receive the tattoo.
Complaints regarding this issue should be directed to local law enforcement.
law required that the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) adopt rules to
regulate the sanitary operation of tattoo parlors.
In 1999, Senate Bill No.
38 was passed. This bill addressed body piercing in Indiana. The following are
highlights of this legislation:
The law defined body piercing
as the perforation of any human body part other than an earlobe for the purpose
of inserting jewelry or other decoration or for some other nonmedical purpose.
The law lists criminal penalties for body piercers who perform body piercing
upon persons less than 18 years, unless a parent or legal guardian is present
at the time of the body piercing and provides written permission for the person
to undergo the body piercing. Complaints regarding this issue should be directed
to local law enforcement.
Local ordinances regarding tattooing and body piercing
that are at least as restrictive or more restrictive than the present laws may
The law required that the ISDH adopt rules to regulate the sanitary
operation of body piercing facilities.
ISDH: Rule governing the sanitary operations
of tattoo parlors and body piercing facilities
The ISDH developed a rule governing
the sanitary operation of tattoo parlors in 1998 and revised this rule in 2000
to include the sanitary operation of body piercing facilities. The rule allows
for complaint investigations. When violations are noted that threaten the health
of patrons, the health department can issue a compliance order. This orders the
artist and/or parlor to cease and desist from the violative practice and comply
with the requirements of the rule. Section B of this guideline contains a copy
of this rule and Section C contains information that you may find useful in complying
with the rule.
The definitions listed in the rule apply throughout
the rule and must be referred to when there is a question regarding the meaning
of the defined words. Some of the definitions listed may seem like they do not
belong in this rule. An example is the definition of "other potentially infectious
materials" that was included to be consistent with the Indiana Universal
Precautions Rule and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA)
Bloodborne Pathogen Standard. Many of the definitions are consistent with other
ISDH rules. For example, the importance of the definition section in this rule
is illustrated by reviewing the definition of body piercing. Body piercing is
defined as the perforation of any human body part other than an earlobe for the
purpose of inserting jewelry or other decoration, or for some other nonmedical
purpose. Thus, persons who pierce earlobes only are not regulated by this rule,
but persons who pierce the upper ear are regulated.
does not require that tattoo artists or body piercers register with the ISDH and
ISDH does not routinely inspect these facilities. Tattoo artists and body piercers
should contact the local health department to see if there are any local requirements.
There may be local requirements and local inspections. Investigations may occur
as the result of a complaint.
Patron Rights Information
rule requires the operator to display information prepared by ISDH regarding universal
precautions and patron rights. Local health departments and ISDH can provide you
with this information. This information is found here.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Bloodborne Pathogen Standard
1991, OSHA published the Bloodborne Pathogen Standard. The Standard requires that
employers who have employees at a reasonably anticipated risk of contact with
blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) provide the following:
written exposure control plan
Engineering and work practice controls
hepatitis B vaccine
Post-exposure medical evaluation
Annual training on
bloodborne pathogens and the employer's policies relating to the handling of blood
and/or "other potentially infectious materials"
Record keeping about
medical information and training.
The OSHA Standard covers employees ONLY.
For questions about whether individuals working in a facility would be considered
employees, contact the Indiana Department of Labor, Bureau of Safety Education
and Training at 317/232-2688. If employees have contact with blood or OPIM as
part of their job duties, requirements of the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard
must be followed, in addition to meeting the requirements of the ISDH rule.
of tattoo parlors and body piercing facilities who are not covered by the OSHA
Standard must observe only the requirements of the ISDH rule, and are encouraged
to be familiar with the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard, since it is referenced
in this rule. A copy of the Standard can be accessed on the Internet at: http://www.osha-slc.gov/OshStd_data/1910_1030.html
All tattoo artists and body piercers should consider vaccination
against the hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis B is spread by direct contact with infected
blood or certain other body fluids, such as semen and vaginal secretions. Direct
contact may include being stuck with a needle contaminated with blood, getting
blood on an open sore, or getting blood in the eyes or mouth. Intact skin is a
barrier and does not allow the virus into the body. The hepatitis B vaccine has
very few side effects and provides protection against the disease in most people
who complete the 3-shot series. Since the tattoo artist and body piercer are exposed
to blood daily, this vaccine is highly recommended.
Immunodeficiency Virus and Hepatitis C
Both the Human Immunodeficiency Virus
(HIV) and the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) can be spread by direct contact with blood
or OPIM. These viruses can result in serious illness and death. Many persons with
HIV infection will develop acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. HCV infection results
in potentially serious liver disease. There are approximately 4 million Americans
infected and HCV infection is the most likely reason for a liver transplant in
the United States. There are no vaccines available to protect against HIV and
The OSHA Bloodborne
Pathogen Standard requires that employees be offered a medical evaluation when
an exposure to someone else's blood occurs. An exposure could occur by a puncture
with a needle contaminated with blood or by getting someone's blood on an open
sore or in the eyes or mouth. Even when there are no employees, tattoo parlors
should consider having policies relating to first aid procedures and for evaluation
by a health care provider following exposures. A health care provider may recommend
medication or vaccinations that could prevent the exposed person from becoming
ill with a serious bloodborne disease. This rule does not require a post-exposure
medical evaluation but ISDH recommends that a medical evaluation occur after all
Bloodborne Pathogen Training
on bloodborne pathogen disease transmission for tattoo artist, body piercers,
and anyone who has contact with blood at the facility is a requirement of this
rule. Some examples of who may provide the training are a professional association,
persons familiar with bloodborne pathogen disease transmission and the requirements
of the laws that apply, and the American Red Cross or other health care professional
The American Red Cross chapters within Indiana offer
a bloodborne pathogen course called "Preventing Disease Transmission/Universal
Precautions." This course will provide you with the essential information
for running a safe facility for both staff and clients. In addition, the American
Red Cross of greater Indianapolis has developed a Bloodborne Pathogens for Tattoo
Artists and Body Piercers Course that is accessed at the following Internet address:
www.redcross-indy.org. In order to meet the requirements of this rule, any on-line
course must be taken at a time when a course instructor is available to answer
questions immediately. The American Red Cross of greater Indianapolis has a course
instructor available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Indianapolis
time). For further questions about this course, call 317/684-1441.
sources of information about bloodborne pathogens and preventing disease transmission
are professional associations, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (http://www.cdc.gov),
and the Indiana State Department of Health (http://www.in.gov/isdh or 317/233-7825).
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