GIRARD, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio is redrawing the rules for tattoo artists and piercers for the first time since the late 1990s.
New regulations going into effect Sept. 1 include limiting piercing guns for use only on lower earlobes, and restricting minors from getting certain areas of their bodies pierced, even if their parents approve.
Some tattoo artists are welcoming the change but worry kids will still get the piercings they want by other methods.
“It is just getting too far out of hand with the home stuff and everyone being accessible to buy whatever they need,” said Brian Webber, Co-owner of Hollywoods Steel City Tattoo in Girard.
New state laws also require all body art businesses to have an infection and disease control plan. The updates also are expected to protect consumers by encouraging more training among the public health inspectors who make sure the rules are being followed.
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Webber’s partner, John Cummings, said young teens don’t really know what they want and that the consequences are permanent, which is why both Webber and Cummings welcome the new rules, but think more needs to be done when it comes to regulating at-home tattoo and piercing kits.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, an estimated 21 percent of adults in the U.S., 65 million Americans, have at least one tattoo. For those under 40, that percentage doubles. The tattoo industry generates $2.3 billion annually in the U.S.
The Associated Press and Wall Street Journal contributed to this report.