New health regulations on tattoo artists take effect this month

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42048 full

The tattoo industry in California faces new health regulations that took effect this month. The state law requires body artists and piercers to adhere to sanitation standards, learn about blood-borne pathogens and get vaccinations for Hepatitis B.

Cy Wylie co-owns Side Show Studios in Sacramento. He says most of his fellow tattoo artists favor the new rules.

"It makes a safe environment," Wylie says. "Not only for the artist, but also for the consumer. It helps educate everybody involved."

Local agencies must enforce the safety rules, says Mark Barcellos with the Sacramento County Environmental Management Department, adding that they mostly hope to weed out illegal artists "that are [operating] in their homes or in their garages."

The law authorizes counties to determine fees for enforcement and violations.

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