Tattoo parlors to be regulated

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Franklin Ward is about to get regulated by the Richmond County Board of Health, and he is "completely excited" about it.

Kenny McGee, the co-owner of Aces and Eights Tattoo & Piercings in Augusta, holds up a shader needle that he uses for tattooing. The Richmond County Board of Health is considering an ordinance that would regulate the practices of tattoo parlors.   Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Kenny McGee, the co-owner of Aces and Eights Tattoo & Piercings in Augusta, holds up a shader needle that he uses for tattooing. The Richmond County Board of Health is considering an ordinance that would regulate the practices of tattoo parlors.

Ward, a partner or owner of two tattoo studios in Augusta, is part of a group of tattoo artists who have been pushing for an ordinance to help weed out unscrupulous and "fly-by-night" operators. The board of health discussed the proposed ordinance Tuesday night and formed a subcommittee to study some issues raised by board attorney Harry Revell, including whether to require studios to carry liability insurance.

The subcommittee will likely meet in the next week or two, possibly with some tattoo artists, with a goal of reporting back at the monthly meeting in July.

Board member Jerry Brigham said he would like to see a public hearing in August and a vote no later than September. Randy Wishard, the county manager for environmental health, said he worked with a group of owners to help set up the new regulations for tattoo parlors.

"I'd never even been in one," he said.

The proposed ordinance requires, among other things, single-use needles and other supplies, sterilization techniques and informed consent, and forbids tattoos for anyone younger than 18, in addition to piercings, unless by written consent of a parent.

"All of the code they are trying to enact we've been doing for my whole career," said Ward, who has been in the business for 21 years. "This way, it just helps get other people on track with trying to be safe and do all of the proper stuff for the environment and people, and help legitimize our business."

About two years ago, the state of Georgia sent out guidelines for counties to follow in enacting tattoo ordinances, Wishard said. The Augusta tattoo artists looked at different ones around the state, and other states such as Texas, to pull different pieces together, said Kenny McGee, the co-owner of Aces and Eights Tattoo in Augusta. Augusta's draft ordinance is a "mix of six or seven ordinances" that also reflect best practices, he said.

"Nothing is unreasonable," McGee said.

"It keeps us safe and our customers safe," said Weylin Traugott, a tattoo artist and manager of Gunslingers Tattoo.

The new ordinance will also keep dishonest tattoo artists from gaining an advantage, Ward said.

"When people are trying to make more money, sometimes they will cut corners," he said. "It's going to keep the people who want to cut corners from doing that."

The ordinance would also ban mobile offices such as trailers, which sometimes set up shop at flea markets to offer cut-rate tattooing, said artist Frank Inglett.

The ordinance really isn't for those who are already doing the right thing, Wishard said. "This is for the people who don't do right."

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ArmedandLegal 06/10/10 - 11:26 am
So when Im 90 years old and

So when Im 90 years old and covered by aging ink that has turned blue and green and blurry Im sure I'll be completely engulfed in my sorrow of having got them.

Oh wait, no - Ill be sitting on a beach somewhere sipping beer staring at the sunset and if Im lucky and my memory is still good, Ill think back to this day and say, "I wonder if dixieman died a happy life or if he went to the grave an old sour puss".

Then I'll go get a new tattoo at 90 that says "In honor of dixieman"


Joshua Clark
Joshua Clark 06/16/10 - 01:40 pm
I believe in addition to

I believe in addition to these regulations we should also question, were all the bio-hazard waste has gone all these years. Sharps containers with dirty needles how are they being properly disposed of as well as non porous counter tops I have always seen wood counter tops in tattoo studios and never any stainless steel counter tops .. Everyone knows wood is absorbent to its surroundings especially blood borne pathogens. As well as hard wood floors in tattoo studios if wood is absorbent like counter tops well you can see what I am getting at. What credentials should tattoo artist have? C.P.R. and First Aid should be a minimum and especially Blood borne Pathogen training. The question should be raised not to run off competition because some artist want to work less and make more or drive the prices higher like other markets. but should be the safety and concern of customers and clientele through out. It is a free country and anyone that practices fair should be able to compete weather artist or owner.

TattooKenny 10/22/10 - 05:04 am
Joshua, I will answer your

Joshua, I will answer your questions. I'm Kenny, co-owner of Aces and Eights Tattoo. I've been working with the Board of Health since day one on this matter. Where does all of the bio waste go you ask. All of our sharp's are picked up by a OSHA certified waste disposal company. They destroy them and send us a certificate of destruction that is dated to show the public where it went. Counter tops. Our counter tops are non porous and meet OSHA standards. Our floors are the same way. There is no carpet in our shop. Everyone in my shop is first aid and CPR certified as well as DEFID trained. We all have BBP classes every year through OSHA and Red Cross.

As for trying to close other shops down to benefit other shops, that's funny! The Board of Health started this. A few of us shop owners got involved so that we didn't end up with rules that came from people who had no idea what goes on in a tattoo shop. Every shop will be required to meet or exceed the new rules. Everything that we have done is to protect you the public!

If all of you fussing on here really cared and wanted to know what's going on in your community we have had a public hearing on this matter. There will be another before everything is final. You can pick up a copy of the regs at the Health Dept on Laney Walker if you want to or feel free to stop by my shop and I will give you a copy also!

Like it or not tattooing is a part of America. It's been around over 10,000 years and won't go away any time soon! Just know that there are some of us that care about something more than the money. We are the ones working to protect you from shops not doing the right things to protect your safety.

If you have any questions about any of this feel free to call me. 706-736-1188 Kenny.....

momster59 10/22/10 - 05:34 am
The regulations are being

The regulations are being implemented to ensure that blood born pathogens are not passed on to consumers. Most of the long standing, reputable shops already follow these health guidelines.

Corgi constantly makes it clear that she judges others not by their actions, but rather by whether they fit her view of fashion sense. I and all of my highly educated family members have tattoos and we are employed. Shout out to Fro - my huge, tatted up, extremely talented, funny and especially caring tattoo artist.

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