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Reminder: L.A. to Lay Smack Down on Unregulated Tattoo and Piercing Artists

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Come July, that new wrist tattoo or clitoris piercing that you've been wanting so desperately may be a little bit safer to get: the L.A. County Board of Supervisors is reminding us all that new statewide standards for body art will be enforced beginning July 1.

In an article posted on L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's website, a writer for the overseer of the third district notes that the Safe Body Act, which was passed in October of last year, will soon impose a series of new requirements on tattoo and piercing artists.

Those requirements include renewing a health permit annually, taking training in blood borne pathogens, and meeting certain sanitation standards. The act will also impose a fee of up to $1,000 on body art practitioners who don't comply with the new rules.

Prior to the statewide ordinance, L.A. County had similar regulations in place, but they didn't apply to every city in the county.

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Surprisingly, the city has a Body Art Unit that will be called upon to enforce the new standards, although to hear Yaroslovsky's website tell it, it's a pretty small affair.

"This [ordinance] is probably going to quadruple our workload," said Cole Landowski, head of the county's environmental hygiene program.

Most body artists don't seem to have much of a problem with the new regulations. The Fresno Bee quotes Dave Olvera, manager of Tower Tattoos, as saying that it will help "combat negative stereotypes of his work."

"This is long overdue," Olvera told the Bee. "Fresno is known for its bad shops. There are people working out of their homes. I saw a tattoo shop operating out of a gas station."

Artists looking for trainings can find more information at the California Conference of Directors of Environmental Health website.