Pennsylvania Auditor General Pushing for Tattoo Law Changes

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Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner has set forth a plan to regulate the tattoo parlors present in the Keystone State. According to a press release from the Office of the Auditor General, the office has recommended a number of steps the General Assembly and the state Department of Health could take to reduce health risks to Pennsylvania residents. If state government officials decide to act on some sort of regulations regarding the 750 tattoo parlors throughout Pennsylvania, it would bring the fast growing business more in line with current requirements for beauty parlors, nail salons, and barber shops, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Why is the Auditor General concerned with the tattoo industry in Pennsylvania?

According to KDKA News, AG Wagner considers the practice of tattooing an invasive procedure that has the chance to expose customers and artists to blood-borne pathogens and various infections, and since the government regulates other industries with similar concerns some sort of formal licensing and training should be taking place.

How popular are tattoo parlors as a business?

Tattooing is a fast-growing business segment considering 21 percent of adults in the United States have at least one, according to the PG. Pittsburgh currently has 83 tattoo parlors, Philadelphia has 84, and there are scores more in smaller cities and towns throughout the Keystone State, according to the PG report.

What kinds of items would be included in legislation?

Included in any potential legislation would be training for operators of tattoo parlors and artists covering pathogens, CPR, and first aid, according to the Associated Press. The press release also indicates that tattoo parlors would be required to purchase liability insurance to protect themselves and their clients, and also mentions that financial penalties would need to be implemented for any operation found in violation of the law.

How likely is it that Pennsylvania legislators will follow through on the recommendations?

According to the Post-Gazette, the only law on the books regarding tattoo parlors concerns the age of 18 to receive one without parental consent. The Auditor General is pushing a law that would be a natural extension of business that the state currently licenses. However, any regulations would be to curtail questionable businesses and prevent problem operators from taking root in communities, according to the press release. At this point, the recommendations are not likely to come up in the state House or Senate until at least 2013.

Jason Gallagher is a longtime Pennsylvania resident. He has experiences in trends and developments in many regions from having lived in many parts of the Keystone State, and currently resides in the Pittsburgh area.

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