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Tattoo, Ear and Body Piercing

The Health Deparment regularly inspcts tattoo studios, body piercing studios and ear piecing studios. The Health Department has been inspecting tattoo studios since 1993 and body/ear piercing studios since 2004.

Why are these facilities inspected?
What do the inspections look for?
Can kids get a tattoo or piercing without their parent/guardian's consent?
What are the requirements for artists/piercers?
Where can I find more information?
Why are these facilities inspcted? An environmentalist inspects a body piercing studio
There are health risks involved whenever there is a break in the skin. The major medical risks are the spread of communicable diseases such as hepatitis B and C and HIV in addition to other diseases and local infections.

What do they inspections look for?
There is a detailed list of specifications to meet in order to be in compliance to the law. The regulations include the health and cleanliness of the facility, sterilization of instruments and equipment, single use of needles, hand washing, wearing of gloves and appropriate records of sterilization procedures and clients receiving the service.

Can kids get a tattoo or piercing without their parent/guardian's consent?
No. The law requies a written notarized consent of a custodial parent or legal guardian before anyone under 18 years of age can obtain a tattoo or body piercing. These items, among others, are included in the Health Department’s inspections.

What are the requirements for artists/piercers?
In 2011, the Northern Kentucky District Board of Health passed regulations requiring blood-borne pathogen education for all licensed tattoo and body piercing artists in Northern Kentucky. Under the regulations, artists are required to attend classes, or document that they've attended and passed an approved class. The Health Department will offer these classes. For information on upcoming classes, please call 859.341.4151 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. Download the application for the Health Department's class. Read the Board of Health regulations.

Where can I find more information?
List of certified tattoo/body piercing studios
Fact sheet on body piercing
Application to become a certified tattoo/body piercing artist in Kentucky
Kentucky regulations for tattoo/body piercing  
Application for the Health Department's blood-borne pathogen education class