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Washington DC's Tattoo Regulation Wars

Washington D.C.'s Health Department is at it again with ludicrous proposals to regulate tattooing.

The DC Health Department first proposed a 24-Hour waiting period to get tattooed. Thankfully, that proposal was abandoned for common sense. However, their second proposed rule making -- which can be downloaded here -- is also littered
inconsistencies and even issues that aren't even based in reality.

For example, Section
301.2 of the proposal states, "All body artists shall use hollow needles, and equipment that is specifically manufactured for performing body art procedures in accordance with manufacturer's instructions."

Hollow tattoo needles? 

Matt Jessup, aka Fatty of Fatty's Tattoos & Piercings, pointed out the ridiculousness of the proposed regs to The Washington Post:

They're requiring us to do things that don't exist," said Fatty, nee Matt Jessup, who pointed to a requirement that "[a]ll body artists shall use hollow needles." Hollow needles are used for piercings, he said, but there is no such thing in the tattoo world. The new rules also require businesses to use city-licensed equipment suppliers when there are, in fact, no such suppliers in the city. Another touchy proposal involves requiring the posting of three signs publicizing various health risks purportedly associated with body art, including potential allergic reactions, skin infections and the transmission of blood-borne diseases, including HIV/AIDS. Some of the particular risks listed, Fatty said, are not supported by research.
A petition has been posted to Change.org in which Tim Corun of Jinx Proof Tattoos offers the following sample language to send in support of abandoning the second proposal:

To: The DC Department of health and the Mayor of Washington DC, Vincent Gray

Demand that Mayor Gray and DC Department of Health abandon the 2nd draft of proposed body art regulations and seek further education on body art practices before proposing further regulations.

Sincerely,
[Your name]
You can also share the petition on Facebook.

It seems like the DC Health Department is not going to give up its fight to put tight restraints on tattooing, which are not only detrimental to the industry but to tattoo collectors. Especially in a town like DC, it could be wise for the DC Coalition of Professional Body Artists to bring in a lobbyist or some outside help in this battle. 

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