Reporting Kimberly Gill
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – State Auditor General, Jack Wagner, wants state lawmakers to license and regulate tattoo parlors in Pennsylvania.
He says, of the 10 most populous states, all but Pennsylvania either have regulations and licensing of tattoo artists, or have legislation pending.
Wagner took a tour of Rogue Tattoo in Lawrenceville.
The tattoo parlor is forthcoming about its safety practices both on its website and inside its shop.
“They’re almost common sense for anyone that is a clean person and does not want to cross contaminate person A with person B,” Tattoo Artist and Owner of Rogue Tattoo, Travis Courtemanche, said.
But Wagner says not all of Pennsylvania’s 750 tattoo parlors use such common sense.
That’s why he called on the State Department of Health and the General Assembly to step-up the state’s role in regulating the industry.
It comes after complaints from the public about potential health risks, including Hepatitis C.
“Tattoo parlors here, in Pennsylvania, do not fall under any regulation for licensing or safety and sanitation standards,” Wagner said.
Wagner recommends the state require tattoo artists to obtain a license and certification of training in blood-borne pathogens, first aid and CPR.
Those who don’t comply will face monetary fines.
Courtemanche say the regulations will only make the industry better.
“Basically, once regulations are introduced you either comply or give up,” Courtemanche said. “I can’t imagine that these regulations would be so detrimental to someone’s life and time that they can’t follow them.”
Wagner says the goal is to eliminate unsanitary conditions and keep unqualified artists from applying tattoos.