A growing problem in the body art industry is the increasing numbers of unregistered body art technicians performing illegal body piercings and tattoos. According to a high-ranking source, possibly as high as 9 out of 10 individuals that are currently tattooing and body piercing are in non-compliance with their county and state’s requirements. Many body artists mistakenly believe taking online blood-borne pathogen courses will fulfill their legal requirements, and do not receive the required Hepatitis B vaccinations, nor register with their county Health Departments as required by law.
The Health Department of Los Angeles County does not recognize or approve any online blood-borne pathogen courses, nor does any other county health department nationwide. In Los Angeles County (and many others) even after a body piercer or tattoo artist takes a Health Department approved pathogen course, they are then required to undergo a series of Hepatitis B vaccinations (3 vaccinations over a 9 month period) before they can be issued a county body technician permit. Once these two fundamental requirements have been met, the body artist then must file with the Health Department and give the physical location address where you will be working. Once you are legally permitted to perform body art in your community, you must keep your permit and business license current with annual blood-born pathogen refresher courses and licensing fees. Failure to do so can result in heavy fines, revocation of your permit, or shop closure.