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State of Pennsylvania
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Pennsylvania Body Art Sterilization Guidelines


No. 1148 Session of 2001

INTRODUCED BY DeLUCA, KREBS, BEBKO-JONES, BUNT, BUXTON, CALTAGIRONE, CAPPELLI, L. I. COHEN, COLAFELLA, COLEMAN, CORRIGAN, COSTA, FRANKEL, HARHAI, HENNESSEY, HORSEY, JAMES, JOSEPHS, KAISER, KELLER, LEDERER, MANDERINO, MELIO, MYERS, PISTELLA, SCHRODER, SCRIMENTI, SOLOBAY, STABACK, SURRA, E. Z. TAYLOR, THOMAS, TIGUE, WALKO, WANSACZ, WASHINGTON, WATERS, C. WILLIAMS, J. WILLIAMS, WILT AND WOJNAROSKI, MARCH 22, 2001 REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, MARCH 22, 2001 AN ACT 1 Regulating tattoo, body-piercing and corrective cosmetic 2 artists; providing for powers and duties of the Department of 3 Health; and imposing penalties. 4 The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania 5 hereby enacts as follows: 6 Section 1. Short title. 7 This act shall be known and may be cited as the Tattoo, Body 8 Piercing and Corrective Cosmetic Artists Act. 9 Section 2. Legislative intent. 10 It is the intent of the General Assembly to direct the 11 Department of Health to establish health standards for the 12 practice of tattooing , body piercing and corrective cosmetics

13 within this Commonwealth. This will be achieved through the 14 imposition of regulations and the registration of all tattoo 15 artists, body-piercing artists and corrective cosmetic artists 1 with the Department of Health. 2 Section 3.


3 The following words and phrases when used in this act shall

4 have the meanings given to them in this section unless the

5 context clearly indicates otherwise:

6 "Body piercing." The process of breaching the skin or mucous

7 membrane for the purpose of insertion of any object, including,

8 but not limited to, jewelry for cosmetic purposes. The term does

9 not include ear piercing or nail piercing.

10 "Body piercing artist." Any person who actually performs

11 body piercing or who operates, conducts or manages any body-

12 piercing establishment.

13 "Corrective cosmetic artist." Any person who actually

14 performs corrective cosmetics.

15 "Corrective cosmetics." The application of tattoos on a live

16 human being for medical situations that otherwise could not be

17 corrected or improved, including, but not limited to, burn

18 scars, acne scars, age spots and skin discoloration due to loss

19 of pigmentation. 20 "Department." The Department of Health of the Commonwealth.

21 "Facial tattoo." A tattoo applied above the neck, including, 22 but not limited to, eyelids, eyebrows or lips.

23 "Infectious disease." A disease of humans or animals 24 resulting from a transmissible infection, whether or not patent, 25 apparent, inapparent, latent, clinical or subclinical. 26 "Registry." The Tattoo, Body-Piercing and Corrective 27 Cosmetic Artists Central Registry.

28 "Sanitization." The reduction of the population of 29 microorganisms to safe levels as determined by public health 30 officials. 20010H1148B1329 - 2 - 1 "Sterilization." The process of destruction of all forms of 2 life by physical or chemical means. 3 "Tattoo." The indelible mark, figure or decorative design 4 introduced by insertion of nontoxic dyes or pigments into or 5 under the subcutaneous portion of the skin or by the production 6 of scars upon the body of a live human being. 7 "Tattoo artist." Any person who actually performs tattooing 8 or who operates, conducts or manages any tattoo establishment. 9 " Tattooing ." the process by which the skin is marked or 10 colored by insertion of nontoxic dyes or pigments into or under 11 the subcutaneous portion of the skin so as to form indelible 12 marks for cosmetic or figurative purposes. 13 "Temporary establishment." An establishment which performs 14 tattooing , body-piercing, or both, is operated by an individual 15 registered under this act and which operates outside of a 16 registered facility at a fixed location for a period of time of 17 not more than seven consecutive days in conjunction with a 18 single event or celebration. 19 Section 4. Registry. 20 The department shall, by regulation, establish the Tattoo, 21 Body-Piercing and Corrective Cosmetic Artists Central Registry. 22 All persons who perform tattooing , body-piercing or corrective 23 cosmetic services within this Commonwealth shall meet the 24 requirements of this act and shall register with the department 25 on forms provided by the department. 26 Section 5. Powers and duties of department. 27 (a) General rule.--The department, in the exercise of its 28 duties under this act, shall have the power to adopt such 29 regulations as are reasonably necessary to carry out the 30 purposes of this act. Regulations shall be adopted in conformity 20010H1148B1329 - 3 - 1 with the provisions of the act of June 25, 1982 (P.L.633, 2 No.181), known as the Regulatory Review Act, and shall include, 3 but not be limited to: 4 (1) Tattoo, body-piercing and corrective cosmetic 5 establishment registration and facility registration 6 requirements, including, but not limited to: 7 (i) Physical location. 8 (ii) Specifications of walls, ceilings, floors, 9 partitions, fixtures, equipment and other appurtenances. 10 (iii) Lighting. 11 (iv) Ventilation. 12 (v) Water supply. 13 (vi) Liquid waste disposal. 14 (vii) Refuse storage and disposal. 15 (viii) Toilets and lavatories. 16 (ix) Sinks. 17 (x) Insect and rodent control. 18 (2) Temporary establishment registration requirements. 19 (3) Tattoo artist and body-piercing artist registration 20 requirements. 21 (4) Apprentice tattoo artist and body-piercing artist 22 registration requirements. 23 (5) Development and maintenance of and registration in 24 the Tattoo, Body-Piercing and Corrective Cosmetic Artists 25 Central Registry. 26 (6) Tattoo artist and body-piercing artist hygiene. 27 (7) Health, sanitization, sterilization and safety 28 standards for tattoo, body-piercing or corrective cosmetic 29 establishments and temporary establishments. 30 (8) Tattoo and body-piercing establishment and temporary 20010H1148B1329 - 4 - 1 establishment recordkeeping. 2 (9) Qualifications for the registration of corrective 3 cosmetic artists. 4 (b) Examination.--The department shall require the 5 successful completion of a written examination regarding health, 6 sanitization, sterilization and safety standards prior to 7 issuing a registration to any tattoo artist, body-piercing 8 artist or corrective cosmetic artist. 9 (c) Registration.--The department shall register: 10 (1) Any applicant who successfully passes the 11 examination and meets the requirements for registration in 12 accordance with the regulations promulgated under this act. 13 (2) Any tattoo or body-piercing establishment or 14 temporary establishment which has been inspected and meets 15 facility requirements in accordance with the regulations 16 where tattooing , body-piercing or corrective cosmetic 17 services will be performed. 18 (d) Inspection.--The department shall inspect every 19 establishment at which tattooing , body-piercing or corrective 20 cosmetics are performed prior to issuing a facility 21 registration. The department may also conduct inspections of 22 registered facilities and temporary establishments as the 23 department deems necessary to carry out this act. The inspection 24 shall insure that required sterilization, sanitation and safety 25 standards are maintained. 26 (e) Fees.--All fees required under this act shall be fixed 27 by the department by regulation and shall be subject to the act 28 of June 25, 1982 (P.L.633, No.181), known as the Regulatory 29 Review Act. 30 (f) Limitation.--Nothing in this act shall be construed to 20010H1148B1329 - 5 - 1 permit the department to regulate artistic aspects of tattooing , 2 body-piercing or corrective cosmetics which are unrelated to 3 health, sanitization, sterilization or safety standards. 4 (g) Departmental actions.--All actions of the department in 5 accordance with this act which result in a refusal to issue a 6 registration for reasons other than failure to pass a written 7 examination required by this act or action which suspends or 8 revokes a registration shall be subject to the right of notice, 9 hearing and adjudication and the right of appeal therefrom in 10 accordance with 2 Pa.C.S. Ch. 5 Subch. A (relating to practice 11 and procedure of Commonwealth agencies). 12 Section 6. Duties and responsibilities of artists. 13 (a) Health of tattoo artists and body-piercing artists.--The 14 department shall establish by regulation minimum health 15 standards for all registrants and persons working in any area of 16 a tattoo or body-piercing establishment which may be necessary 17 to prevent the contamination of tattoo or body-piercing 18 equipment, supplies or work surfaces with pathogenic organisms. 19 (b) Infectious disease.--A notarized statement from a 20 licensed physician shall be provided to the department, prior to 21 the issuance of a registration under this act, confirming that 22 the artist was examined by the physician, a test of the artist's 23 blood was made and the results of that test indicate that: 24 (1) the artist is free from all contagious and 25 infectious diseases, including hepatitis B; 26 (2) the artist has either completed or was offered and 27 declined a vaccination series; 28 (3) antibody testing reveals that the artist is immune 29 to certain diseases; or 30 (4) a vaccine is contradicted for medical reasons. 20010H1148B1329 - 6 - 1 (c) Notifications.--Verbal and written instructions for the 2 care of the tattooed or pierced site on the body shall be 3 provided to each customer by the tattoo artist or body-piercing 4 artist upon the completion of the procedure. The written 5 instructions shall advise the customer to consult a physician at 6 the first sign of infection and contain the name, address and 7 phone number of the tattoo or body-piercing establishment. 8 Section 7. Minors. 9 (a) Prohibitions.--It shall be unlawful for any person to 10 perform tattooing or body-piercing services on any other person 11 under 18 years of age without the written consent of a parent or 12 legal guardian of that other person. 13 (b) Regulation.--The department shall promulgate regulations 14 establishing standards for verification of age and documentation 15 of consent. 16 (c) Revocation.--Any person who performs tattooing or body- 17 piercing services on any body part of a person under 18 years of 18 age without proper consent as established in subsection (a) 19 shall have the registration under this act revoked for two 20 years. 21 (d) Registration.--Any person who violates subsection (a) 22 may not be registered for two years from the date of violation 23 or revocation, whichever is later. 24 Section 8. Powers of municipalities. 25 (a) Municipal ordinances preserved.--Nothing in this act 26 shall supersede the power of a municipality to inspect tattoo, 27 or body-piercing establishments or temporary establishments, to 28 regulate the manner in which tattooing or body-piercing may be 29 performed, to levy lawful taxes and fees and to require the 30 purchase of a business privilege license unrelated to competence 20010H1148B1329 - 7 - 1 in the practice of tattooing or body piercing. No municipality 2 shall require a tattoo artist or body-piercing artist registered 3 under this act to obtain a municipal license to engage in 4 tattoo, temporary tattoo or body-piercing services in the 5 municipality. Nothing in this act shall preclude a municipality 6 from denying or revoking a local permit for failure to comply 7 with a local ordinance not inconsistent with this act or 8 regulations of the department promulgated under this act. 9 (b) Failure to comply with local ordinance.--A registrant 10 under this act who fails to comply with a municipal ordinance 11 concerning the inspection of tattoo or body-piercing 12 establishments or temporary establishments, or the manner in 13 which the municipality requires tattoo and body-piercing 14 services to be performed, shall be subject to disciplinary 15 proceedings under this act. 16 Section 9. Unlawful acts. 17 (a) Unregistered practice.--It is unlawful for any person to 18 practice tattooing , body-piercing or corrective cosmetics, or to 19 hold himself out as a practitioner of or entitled or authorized 20 to practice tattooing , body-piercing or corrective cosmetics, or 21 to assume any title of "tattooist," "tattoo artist," "body- 22 piercer," "body-piercing artist," "corrective cosmetics artist" 23 or other letters or titles in connection with that person's name 24 which in any way represents himself as being engaged in the 25 practice of tattooing , body-piercing or corrective cosmetics, or 26 authorized to do so, unless that person has been duly registered 27 and authorized to engage in the practice under this act. 28 (b) Unregistered facilities.--It is unlawful for any person 29 to operate a tattoo, body-piercing, or corrective cosmetic 30 establishment or temporary establishment that is not registered 20010H1148B1329 - 8 - 1 with the department. 2 (c) Injections.--It is unlawful for a tattoo artist, body- 3 piercing artist or corrective cosmetic artist to administer 4 anesthetic injections or other medications and prescription 5 drugs. 6 (d) Facial tattoos.--It is unlawful for any person other 7 than a corrective cosmetic artist registered under this act, or 8 a physician or surgeon licensed in this Commonwealth, to perform 9 facial tattoo services on any other person. 10 Section 10. Disciplinary matters. 11 (a) General.--The department may suspend or revoke any 12 registration issued under this act for any of the following 13 reasons: 14 (1) Failing to demonstrate the qualifications or 15 standards for a registration contained in this act or 16 regulations of the department. 17 (2) Making misleading, deceptive, untrue or fraudulent 18 representations in obtaining a registration. 19 (3) Being unable to practice with reasonable skill and 20 safety to the public by reason of illness, addiction to drugs 21 or alcohol, having been convicted of a felonious act 22 prohibited by the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64), 23 known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic 24 Act, or convicted of a felony relating to a controlled 25 substance in a court of law of the United States or any other 26 state, territory, possession or country, or of mental 27 incompetency. An applicant's statement on the application 28 declaring the absence of a conviction shall be deemed 29 satisfactory evidence of the absence of a conviction unless 30 the department has some evidence to the contrary. 20010H1148B1329 - 9 - 1 (4) Violating a lawful regulation promulgated by the 2 department or violating a lawful order of the department 3 previously entered by the department in a disciplinary 4 proceeding. 5 (5) Knowingly maintaining a professional connection or 6 association with any person who is in violation of this act 7 or regulation of the department or knowingly aiding, 8 assisting, procuring or advising any unregistered person to 9 practice a profession contrary to this act or regulations of 10 the department. 11 (6) Acting in such manner as to present an immediate and 12 clear danger to public health or safety. 13 (7) Making a false or deceptive biennial registration 14 with the department. 15 (b) Authorized actions.--In addition to taking disciplinary 16 or corrective action against a registrant under this act or 17 pursuant to other statutory authority, the department may: 18 (1) Deny the application for a registration or any other 19 privilege granted by the department. 20 (2) Revoke, suspend, limit or otherwise restrict a 21 registration. 22 (3) Stay enforcement of any suspension and place a 23 registrant on probation with the right to vacate the 24 probationary order for noncompliance. 25 (c) Failure to comply with conditions.--Failure of a 26 registrant to comply with the conditions required by the 27 department shall be grounds for reconsideration of the matter 28 and institution of formal charges against the registrant. 29 (d) Reinstatement of registration.--Unless ordered to do so 30 by the Commonwealth Court or on appeal therefrom, the department 20010H1148B1329 - 10 - 1 may not reinstate the registration of a person which has been 2 revoked for two years from the date of violation or revocation, 3 whichever is later. Any person whose registration has been 4 revoked may apply for reinstatement, after a period of at least 5 two years, but must meet all of the registration requirements of 6 this act, including the examination requirement, if that person 7 desires to practice the art of tattooing , body-piercing or 8 corrective cosmetics under this act at any time after such 9 revocation. 10 (e) Surrender of suspended or revoked registration.--The 11 department shall require a person whose registration has been 12 suspended or revoked to return the registration in such manner 13 as the department directs. 14 Section 11. Penalties. 15 Any persons who violates any provision of this act commits a 16 misdemeanor of the third degree and shall, upon conviction, be 17 sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 or to 18 imprisonment for not more than three months, or both. 19 Section 12. Injunctive relief. 20 It shall be unlawful for any person to practice or attempt to 21 offer to practice tattooing , body-piercing or corrective 22 cosmetics without having at the time of so doing a valid, 23 unexpired, unrevoked and unsuspended registration issued under 24 this act. The unlawful practice of tattooing , body-piercing or 25 corrective cosmetics may be enjoined by the courts on petition 26 of the department. In any such proceeding it shall not be 27 necessary to show that any person is individually injured by the 28 actions complained of. If it is found that the respondent has 29 engaged in the unlawful practice of tattooing or body piercing, 30 the court shall enjoin the respondent from so practicing unless 20010H1148B1329 - 11 - 1 and until the respondent registers with the department. This 2 procedure in such cases shall be the same as in any other 3 injunction suit. The remedy by injunction authorized by this 4 section shall be in addition to any other civil or criminal 5 prosecution and punishment authorized by law. 6 Section 13. Exemptions. 7 (a) General rule.--Nothing in this act shall prevent: 8 (1) a physician or surgeon licensed in this Commonwealth 9 from performing body-piercing or tattooing services for 10 medical reasons; or 11 (2) a funeral director licensed in this Commonwealth 12 from performing body-piercing or tattooing services as 13 required by that profession. 14 (b) Physician-based corrective cosmetics establishments.-- 15 Nothing in this act shall require the registration of corrective 16 cosmetics establishments physically located in a licensed 17 physician's office, hospital or clinic. Those establishments 18 shall also be exempt from facility requirements as provided for 19 in section 5(a)(1). 20 Section 14. Effective date. 21 This act shall take effect as follows: 22 (1) Section 5(a) shall take effect in two years. 23 (2) This section shall take effect immediately. 24 (3) The remainder of this act shall take effect in 180 25 days. C15L35JLW/20010H1148B1329 - 12 -


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