Ear and Body Piercing
On April 1, 2004, a 2002 Kentucky law went into effect requiring that the Health Department inspect and provide certification to body piercing studios or ear piercing studios meeting the regulations. Not only the studio, but also every artist or piercer, must obtain a registration from the Health Department.
This law gives the Health Department’s Health Environmentalists approximately
20 additional places to inspect. Since April 1993, the Health Department has been responsible for inspecting and certifying tattoo studios.
Facilities that pierce only the ears using an ear-piercing gun will be given an ear piercing studio certification and each piercer will be given an ear piercing registration. Ear piercing guns use only single-use, presterilized studs and backs that can be inserted into the gun and do not require sterilization of needles and other equipment in an autoclave as is required for body piercing or tattooing.
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. As there is for tattooing, 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 body piercing instruments and equipment, single use of needles, hand washing, wearing of gloves and appropriate records of sterilization procedures and clients receiving the service.
A requirement for tattoo and body piercing studios mandates 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 done a minimum of once a year for ear piercing studios and twice a year for body piercing studios, just as it is for tattoo studios.
December 7, 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.
Read the regulations. Read a
about the requirements.
Under the new regulations, artists will be required to
attend classes, or document that they've attended and passed an approved class.
The Health Department will offer these classes.
Please check this page in the near future for information on upcoming classes.
Download the application for the Health Department's class.
Any business that provides body piercing or ear piercing should contact the Environmental Health
and Safety department of the Health Department at 859.341.4151.
List of certified tattoo/body piercing studios
Fact sheet on body piercing
Application to become a certified tattoo/body piercing artist in Kentucky
regulations for tattoo/body piercing
for the Health Department's blood-borne pathogen education class