Gene Ellis, manager of Carroll County Environmental Health Department, presented a proposed copy of “Rules and Regulations for Body Art Studios and Body Artists” Wednesday at the Carroll County Board of Health meeting.
Board members will have an opportunity to read the document and suggest changes. It will be voted on at the March 13 meeting of the health board.
The fee schedule included in the document will have to be approved by the Board of Commissioners if the regulations receive health board approval.
Dane Weldon, owner of Mama Tried Tattoo in Carrollton, agrees with the regulations which he said are “things every tattoo shop should already be doing.”
“I used to work in DeKalb County, which was one of the first counties to implement the health code,” Weldon said. “I think it was only regulating shops who were doing what they should be doing anyway.”
Weldon said he hopes the inspectors here will go after tattoo operations at flea markets and people doing the work in their houses.
Ellis said state law, Article 31 of Georgia Code, requires counties to adopt regulations on these businesses. He said about 12 such shops are in the county.
“The state law leaves it up to each county to adopt its own regulations,” he said. “Having standardization is really important because of infection control, based on the use of needles and how the ink is applied.”
He said the regulations will prevent unregulated artists from operating at flea markets, their homes or garages, from vehicles or in tents.
“They need an area that is clean, with needles disposed of in a proper manner,” Ellis said. “These regulations will protect businesses that are doing a good job and want to comply with the rules.”
Ellis said once the regulations and fees are approved, he plans to visit each business establishment to explain the rules and give them up to 90 days to make any needed changes.
Under the proposed regulations, a person performing body art must be at least 18 years of age and cannot be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Customers cannot be under the age of 18 and cannot have procedures done within one inch of any part of the eye socket.
The studio will be required to obtain a permit, which must be renewed annually, from the board of health, and post it where customers can see it.
The permit application must include a drawing of its shop, showing locations of all furnishings and equipment, the name and address of the owner and a list of names and addressed of employees and staff.
The studio must be constructed with a separate parlor and waiting room, be free of insects, vermin or rodents, have walls and ceilings that can be easily cleaned, have floors of non-absorbent material that are easily cleaned, have sanitary washing and toilet facilities and have a water heater capable of heating water to 100 degrees F. All work areas must be disinfected with an EPA approved disinfectant at the beginning of the day, after each procedure and at the end of the day.
Body art cannot be done from automobiles, mobile, transitory or other non-fixed facilities, including mobile homes, tents, recreational vehicles and trailers.
No animals will be allowed in a body art studio except decorative fish in aquariums, patrol dogs accompanying police officers, and service animals controlled by disabled people. Animals are allowed in areas not used for equipment storage or cleaning and preparing areas.
Single use sterile supplies must be used and anything applied to the skin must be from single-use containers and disposed of after each use.
Body artists must obtain permits within 60 days of employment. They must have a physical examination, certifying they are free of communicable diseases, be certified in emergency first aid, CPR and trained in pathogen and infection control.
Proposed fees include: body art plan review, $500; annual studio fee, $300; annual artist fee, $100; late fee for permits, $50; re-inspection fee, $100; temporary weekly permit, $50.
The complete rules and regulations document is available for viewing at the Carroll County Environmental Health Department, 423 College Street, No. 508, Carrollton. The phone number is 770-836-6781.