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California Body Artists Face, and Embrace, New State Health Rules

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, July 16, 2012

(sound of tattoo shop)

Here at Side Show Studios in Sacramento, one woman doesn't even flinch while getting a caterpillar illustration permanently inked on her upper arm.

Cy Wylie co-owns the tattoo shop.

She says she doesn't know any professional tattooists against the new 'safe body art' law.

WYLIE: "Those people who make the rest of our industry look bad have the potential now to be closed down."

The new state law requires all body artists to be schooled in blood borne pathogens, prove their immunity to Hepatitis B, and comply with sanitation standards.

The industry itself worked closely with the state to draft the rules.

WYLIE: "Working with them we were able to get legislation through that's smart and educated and benefits everybody."

County health agencies will enforce the new rules. Mark Barcellos of Sacramento County says his department will have to inspect 175 shops each year. And they've already met with some of them to get them up to compliance.

MARCELLOS: "As long as we stick to the law we can work with them with certain things. So, we feel that it's better to work with industry than against them."

Counties can now set new fees on body art shops for enforcement and violations of the health and safety rules.    

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