Allegany County, MD
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of County Commissioners of Allegany County 8-20-2015 by Bill No. 7-15, effective 11-8-2015.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
[1]
Editor's Note: This bill also repealed former Ch. 487, Tattoo Establishments, adopted 10-2-1991 by Bill No. 8-91, effective 11-16-1991 (Ch. 180 of the 1984 Code).

§ 487-1 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish reasonable standards for individuals performing tattoo and body piercing procedures and for the facilities in which the procedures are provided. Such standards should ensure the health and safety of all individuals performing and receiving these services.

§ 487-2 Exemptions.

A. 
This chapter does not apply to a licensed physician or a technician acting under the direct supervision of a licensed physician.
B. 
This chapter does not include piercing of an earlobe using a properly disinfected ear-piercing gun and single-use sterile studs and clutches.

§ 487-3 Definitions.

Unless otherwise defined by specific sections, as used in this chapter the following the terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ANTIBACTERIAL SOLUTION
Any EPA-approved solution used to reduce pathogenic bacterial count on and approved for use upon human skin and includes all products labeled accordingly.
BODY ADORNMENT
Body piercing, body modification, and/or a tattoo.
BODY ART STUDIO
Any permanent building or structure on a permanent foundation, holding a valid business license and permit from the Department, wherein a tattoo or body piercing artist performs tattooing or body piercing. This shall not include tattoo removal.
BODY MODIFICATION
Any object inserted under the skin that is not defined by "body piercing."
BODY PIERCING
Puncturing or penetrating the skin or mucosa utilizing a single-use sterile needle or other sterile instrument for the purpose of inserting jewelry or other adornment into the body for nonmedical purposes.
BODY PIERCING ARTIST
Any person who performs body piercing.
DEPARTMENT
The Allegany County Health Department.
OWNER
The person(s), partnership, the corporation, the association, or group of persons who maintain and control the body art studio and who are legally responsible for the operation of the studio.
OSHA
Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
PERMANENT MAKEUP
Adornment of the body (i.e., eyebrows, lining of eye lids, etc.) by placing ink or other pigment into or under the skin or mucosa by the aid of needles or any other instrument used to puncture the skin resulting in permanent coloration of the skin or mucosa.
PERMIT
The authorization granted by the Department to the owner to operate a body art studio.
SANITARY
Clean and free of agents of infection or disease.
SANITIZED
Effective antibacterial treatment by a process that provides sufficient concentration of chemicals for enough time to reduce the bacteria count, including pathogens, to a safe level on equipment.
STERILIZATION
Holding a reusable instrument in an autoclave in accordance with FDA requirements.
TATTOO
To mark or color the skin by pricking in, piercing, or implanting indelible pigments or dyes under the skin, including permanent makeup.
TATTOO ARTIST
Any person who performs tattooing.

§ 487-4 Responsibilities of owner; policies and procedures.

A. 
The owner shall be responsible for compliance with this chapter and all applicable administrative rules and regulations of the Department.
B. 
The owner shall certify in its application the name(s) and exact duties of employees/artists who have been designated as being responsible for carrying out the rules and policies adopted by the owner. The following information shall be included: date of birth; gender; home address; home/work phone numbers; and identification photos of all operators/technicians.
C. 
Prior to being granted a permit each body art studio shall develop a written statement of policies and procedures outlining the responsibilities of management.
D. 
No person under the age of 18 shall be tattooed or pierced, unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who provides written consent. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a licensed physician or osteopath or a technician acting under the direct supervision of such licensed physician or osteopath shall be authorized to do tattoos or piercings.
E. 
Tattoo and body piercing artists shall not be under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs while performing tattoo or body-piercing procedures.
F. 
Tattoo and body piercing artists shall refuse services to any person who, in the opinion of the tattoo or body piercing artists, is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
G. 
No animals, except for service animals accompanying disabled persons, shall be allowed in the body art studio.

§ 487-5 Minimum floor plan requirements.

A. 
The body art studio shall be constructed, arranged, and maintained so as to provide adequately for the health and safety of its customers.
B. 
The body art studio shall be constructed in a manner to allow the customer receiving the tattoo or body piercing adequate privacy from observers. The work area shall be separate from the waiting area, and shall be separated by a fixed and solid door, wall, or partition from any other area, including, without limitation, the waiting area.
C. 
Body art studios must have adequate ventilation. Each facility shall have a system of adequate ventilation in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Allegany County Building Code.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 255, Building Construction.
D. 
Walls and ceilings of body art studios must be painted or covered in a manner which would allow for easy and effective cleaning. Paint or covering must be light in color.
E. 
Floors of the work area of a body art studio may not be carpeted. Surfaces shall be of a nonabsorbent material that would allow for effective cleaning by conventional methods.
F. 
A clean and sanitary toilet and handwashing facility shall be made accessible to customers; however, it shall be separate from the work area.
G. 
Each work chair shall be equipped with at least one sink or basin providing hot and cold running potable water for the use of the artists for washing their hands and preparing customers for tattooing/piercing. This area shall be provided with soap, and single-use towels or air blower for each artist.
H. 
The facility shall be equipped with at least one utility sink providing hot and cold running water for use in cleaning reusable receptacles and the facility.
I. 
The work area shall be provided with adequate lighting. Artificial light sources shall be provided equivalent to at least 20 footcandles three feet off the floor.
J. 
The work area shall not be used as a corridor for access to other rooms.
K. 
Except for mobile body art establishments (§ 487-21), the body art studio shall not be allowed to occur in automobiles, mobile, transitory or other nonfixed facilities. Such nonfixed facilities include, but are not limited to, mobile homes, tents, recreational vehicles, and trailers.
L. 
Body art studios shall not be allowed in facilities used for human habitation, any food service establishment, hotel room or similar areas.

§ 487-6 Furnishings and fixtures.

A. 
Furnishings of a body art studio shall be maintained in good condition, intact, and functional. Furnishings shall be covered in a material that is easily cleanable and nonabsorbent. The body art studio shall be kept clean, neat, and free of litter and rubbish.
B. 
Cabinets for the storage of instruments, dyes, pigments, single-use articles, carbon, and stencils shall be provided for each tattoo artist and shall be maintained in a sanitary manner that protects them from contamination.
C. 
Work tables and chairs shall be provided for each tattoo/body piercing artist.
(1) 
Surfaces of all work tables and chairs shall be constructed of material that is smooth, nonabsorbent, corrosive resistant, and easily sanitized.
(2) 
Work tables and chairs shall be sanitized with an EPA-approved solution after each procedure.

§ 487-7 Supplies.

A. 
Bulk single-use articles shall be commercially packaged and handled to protect them from contamination. These articles shall be stored in an area separate from the toilet and utility facilities.
B. 
All materials applied to the human skin shall be from single-use containers and shall be disposed of after each use.

§ 487-8 Dyes and pigments.

A. 
All dyes and pigments used in tattooing shall be from an FDA-approved source specifically providing dyes and/or pigments for the tattooing of human skin.
B. 
In preparing dyes or pigments to be used by a tattoo artist, only nontoxic, sterile materials shall be used. Single-use or individual portions of dyes or pigments in clean, sterilized individual containers or single-use containers shall be used for each patron.
C. 
After tattooing, the remaining unused dye or pigment in the single-use or individual containers shall be discarded along with the container.

§ 487-9 Piercing jewelry requirements.

A. 
The client and body piercing artist should have appropriate size and quality jewelry chosen before the procedure begins.
B. 
Jewelry to be used in piercing shall consist of an approved material suitable for permanent surgical implant, such as high-quality surgical stainless steel (316LVM series), niobium, titanium or platinum, or a dense low-porosity plastic material, such as Tygon or PTFE. Copies of the jewelry manufacturer's documentation, which verifies compliance with standards, must be available for inspection on request of the Department. Solid 14 karat, or high, white or yellow, nickel-free, gold may be used. Purity verification must also be available for inspection on request of the Health Officer. Appropriate jewelry has no damaged surfaces.
C. 
Ear studs or other jewelry designed for earlobe piercing is not appropriate jewelry for other body parts and must not be used by the body piercing artist.

§ 487-10 Sanitation requirements.

A. 
Prior to the start of the tattoo/body piercing procedure, the artist should inspect his/her hands for hangnails, small cuts, sores, and abrasions. If a cut, sore, or abrasion is detected, a bandage should be applied for added protection before gloving. Trim fingernails to ensure that gloves are not punctured.
B. 
All jewelry, such as watches, rings, etc., should be removed prior to the start of any procedure.
C. 
Before working on each client, the fingernails and hands of the tattoo/body piercing artist shall be thoroughly washed and scrubbed with warm water and soap. The hands should then be dried by either an air blower or by single-use towels prior to beginning work on each client or when interrupted in the process.
D. 
Single-use disposable latex or approved nonlatex examination gloves shall be worn during the tattooing process. Gloves shall be changed and properly disposed of each time there is an interruption in the application of the tattoo, the gloves become torn or punctured, or whenever their ability to function is compromised.
E. 
Each artist shall wear a clean outer garment, apron or smock, or use other protective barriers as needed. These items shall be changed after each client.
F. 
Tattoo and body piercing artists who are experiencing symptoms of illness, such as diarrhea, vomiting, fever, rash, or skin infections, shall refrain from tattooing and body piercing activities.
G. 
Adequate numbers of sterilized needles and tubes must be on hand for each artist for the entire day and night operation.
H. 
Only single-use disposable razors shall be used to shave the area to be tattooed.
I. 
Smoking, eating or drinking by anyone is prohibited in the area where body art is performed.
J. 
Universal precautions are to be followed per OSHA standards and guidelines.

§ 487-11 Sterilization requirements.

A. 
If nondisposable equipment is used, an operational sterilizer (autoclave) shall be provided in each body art studio.
B. 
Used nondisposable instruments shall be kept in a separate puncture-resistant container until cleaned in hot water and soap, and then sterilized by autoclaving.
C. 
The following procedures should be followed during the sterilization process:
(1) 
Prior to being placed in the autoclave, all equipment shall be bagged, labeled, dated and sealed.
(2) 
Each autoclave bag may hold no more than one tube and bar.
(3) 
The autoclave shall be operated according to manufacturer's instructions and shall be made available for inspection.
(4) 
Spore indicators shall be used a minimum of at least once a month, and the results must be kept at location for a minimum of three years.
(5) 
Certification of proper autoclave function shall be performed by a certified laboratory at least every six months.
D. 
All cleaned, nondisposable instruments used for body art shall be sterilized in a steam autoclave or dry heat sterilizer (if approved by the Department). The sterilizer shall be used, cleaned, and maintained according to manufacturer's instructions. A copy of the manufacturer's recommended procedures for the operation of its sterilization unit must be available for inspection by the Department. Sterile equipment may not be used if the package has been breached or after the expiration date without first repackaging and resterilizing. Sterilizers shall be located away from work stations or areas frequented by the public. If the body art establishment uses all single-use, disposable instruments and products, and utilized sterile supplies, an autoclave shall not be required.
E. 
Each holder of a permit to operate a body art establishment shall demonstrate that the sterilizer used is capable of attaining sterilization by monthly spore destruction tests. These tests shall be verified through an independent laboratory. The permit shall not be issued or renewed until documentation of the sterilizer's ability to destroy spores is received by the Department. These test records shall be retained by the operator for a period of three years and made available to the Department upon request.

§ 487-12 Preparation for tattoo.

A. 
Before placing the tattoo design on the client's skin, the tattoo artist shall treat the skin area with soap.
B. 
If an acetate stencil is used by a tattoo artist for transferring the design to the skin, it shall be thoroughly cleaned and rinsed in a germicidal solution for at least 20 minutes and then dried with sterile gauze or dried in the air on a sanitized surface after each use.
C. 
If a paper stencil is used by a tattoo artist for transferring the design to the skin, it shall be single-use and disposable.
D. 
All cords or hoses must be covered utilizing a disposable single-use sheath, or covering.

§ 487-13 Preparation for body piercing.

The Body piercing artist shall:
A. 
Set up equipment in front of the client.
B. 
Open sealed autoclave bags containing sterile equipment in front of the client, and discard the autoclave bag.
C. 
Disinfect all jewelry contaminated with only airborne pathogens (not previously worn or contaminated) with a nonhazardous hard surface disinfectant approved by the EPA. All jewelry contaminated or potentially contaminated with blood borne pathogens (previously worn by another person) should be autoclaved, stored in sterile indicator bags, sealed and dated.
D. 
All needles used in piercing shall be sterile, used only on one person, at one sitting, for a single piercing, and immediately disposed of in a medical sharps container.
E. 
Presterilize all forceps, tubes, etc., in sealed, dated, sterile indicator bags. These items are to be used on one person, in one sitting. After one such use, they must be autoclaved and stored in sterile indicator bags, sealed and dates.

§ 487-14 Requirements for after tattoo/body piercing application.

After tattoo/body piercing application:
A. 
The completed work shall be washed with a single-use towel saturated with a cleansing solution.
B. 
After the area has dried, apply a layer of antibacterial ointment from a single-use dispenser or applicator.
C. 
A bandage or cover shall then be applied to the tattoo using sealed pads.
D. 
Verbal and written instructions, approved by the Department, for the care of the body art procedure site shall be provided to each client by the tattoo or body piercing artist upon completion of the procedure. The written instructions shall advise the client to consult a physician at the first sign of infection and contain the name, address and phone number of the establishment. These documents shall be signed and dated by both parties, with a copy given to the client and the tattoo or body piercing artist retaining the original with all other required records. The facility shall also post in public view the name, address and phone number of the Department and the procedure for filing a complaint. The notice for filing a complaint shall be included in the establishment application packet.
E. 
All infections, complications, or diseases resulting from any body art procedure which become known to the operator shall be reported to the Department by the operator within 24 hours.

§ 487-15 Disinfection of workplace.

Each body art studio must be kept in a clean and sanitary condition. The owner must develop and implement a cleaning schedule that includes appropriate methods of decontamination and tasks or procedures to be performed. This written schedule must be based on the location within the studio, the type of surfaces to be cleaned, type of possible contamination present, the tasks or procedures to be performed, and their location within the body art studio. The following procedures should be adhered to:
A. 
Clean and sanitize all equipment and work surfaces with an EPA-approved sanitizer after completion of tattoo/body piercing procedures and at the end of work shift when surfaces have become contaminated since the last cleaning.
B. 
Remove and replace protective coverings, such as plastic wrap and aluminum foil, after each tattoo procedure.
C. 
Inspect and sanitize, on a daily basis, reusable receptacles such as bins, pails, and cans that have a likelihood for becoming contaminated. When contamination is visible, clean and sanitize those receptacles immediately, or as soon as practicable.
D. 
All clean, sterilized and ready-to-use needles and instruments shall be kept in a closed glass or metal case or storage cabinet while not in use. Such cabinet shall be maintained in a sanitary manner at all times.
E. 
The instruments required to be sterilized shall be so used, handled and temporarily placed during tattooing so that they will not be contaminated.

§ 487-16 Disposal of waste.

A. 
Needles, razors, or other sharp instruments used during tattoo/body piercing procedures, shall be placed in an approved puncture-resistant, closed container immediately after use.
B. 
Needles shall not be purposely bent or broken, or otherwise manipulated by hand.
C. 
Containers of sharp waste shall be sent to a facility where they are either incinerated or otherwise rendered nonhazardous in compliance with 29 CFR Part 1920.1030, Occupational Exposure to Blood Borne Pathogens.
D. 
Contaminated waste that may release liquid blood or body fluids when compressed or may release dried blood or body fluids when handled must be placed in an approved red bag that is marked with the International Biohazard Symbol. It must then be disposed of in compliance with 29 CFR Part 1910.1030, known as "Occupational Exposure to Blood-Borne Pathogens."
E. 
Waste containers shall be kept closed when not in use.
F. 
Disposable waste shall be handled, stored, and disposed of to minimize direct exposure of personnel to waste materials.
G. 
At least one covered waste receptacle shall be provided in each operator area and each toilet room. Receptacles in the operator area shall be emptied daily and solid waste shall be removed from the premises. All refuse containers shall be lidded, cleanable and kept clean.

§ 487-17 Requirements for personnel.

A. 
Persons performing the tattoo and body piercing operation shall obtain current certification in first aid and proof of attendance at a blood-borne pathogen training program (or equivalent), approved by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. Training/courses provided by professional body art organizations/associations or by equipment manufacturers may also be submitted for consideration.
B. 
If the artist is currently in business at the time of application for permit, the above certification must be obtained with 60 days from the date the permit is issued.
C. 
The owner of a body art studio must maintain a file on all persons who perform tattoo or body piercing procedures at that body art studio, which will be available for inspection by the Department and includes the following:
(1) 
Report of Hepatitis B vaccination, Hepatitis B antibody testing results or statement of contraindication to Hepatitis B vaccine.
(2) 
Evidence of CPR, first aid certification and completed training in disease prevention/blood-borne pathogens.
(3) 
Record of date of birth; gender; home address; home/work phone numbers; and identification photos.

§ 487-18 Client files.

A. 
For each client, all tattoo and body piercing artists shall maintain proper records of identification, tattoos and piercings administered, informed consent, and care instructions for a minimum of three years.
B. 
Records of each client shall be prepared prior to the procedure being performed and shall reflect the client's name and signature, address, proof of age, date tattooed/pierced, lot number of inks used, design, its location and name of the artist.
C. 
A statement of informed consent by the individual receiving the tattoo or piercing or the parent or legal guardian, when appropriate, must be maintained on file.
D. 
A statement by the client attesting that he/she is not under the influence of alcohol or drugs shall be on file.
E. 
A copy of procedures signed by the client advising him/her of proper subsequent care of the tattoo or piercing shall be maintained on file.
F. 
A copy of instructions signed by the client informing him/her on the risks involved and possible complications that might result from the tattoo or body piercing procedure must be maintained on file.

§ 487-19 Permit required; application.

A. 
The owner of each body art studio shall submit to the Department an application for a permit to operate under this chapter. No studio shall be operated and no tattooing or body Piercing performed without such a permit, which is current under this chapter.
B. 
The application for permit shall be made on forms provided by the Department. Each application for a permit shall be accompanied by a floor sketch of the studio showing windows, doors, room measurements, chairs, tables and equipment placement for clients and/or staff. For existing establishment, an application must be received by the Department within 60 days upon adoption of this chapter.
C. 
A listing of the names of all staff, including the owner, who will be working in the studio shall be included with the application for a permit. This listing shall include the full name of each staff person.
D. 
The ownership of the body art studio shall be fully disclosed in its application for a permit.
E. 
Though an owner may hold more than one permit, each body art studio must have a valid permit.
F. 
Zoning and other local requirements regarding proper location and establishment of a body art studio shall be addressed by the applicant with the responsible local officials.

§ 487-20 Display of permit; permits nontransferable; validity; failure to comply.

A. 
The owner of each body art studio shall obtain a valid permit from the Department prior to beginning operation. To be eligible for a permit, the studio must be in compliance with this chapter.
B. 
The permit shall be displayed in a conspicuous place on the premises.
C. 
Permits are not transferable from one studio to another. Transfer includes the change of 5% or more of the ownership interests in any person or entity holding an interest in the body art studio.
D. 
A permit shall no longer be valid and shall be returned to the Department when the studio ceases to operate, has moved to another location, the ownership changes, or the permit is suspended or revoked.
E. 
A body art studio that fails to comply with this chapter shall be subject to the sanctions available to the Health Department pursuant to the Maryland Annotated Code, including, but not limited to, denial or revocation of its permit by the Department.

§ 487-21 Mobile body art establishments.

In addition to complying with all of the requirements of this chapter, mobile body art vehicles and operators/technicians working from a mobile body art establishment shall also comply with all of the following requirements:
A. 
Mobile body art establishments are permitted for use only at special events, lasting 14 calendar days or less. Permits must be obtained at least 14 days prior to the event, and no body art procedures are to be performed prior to a permit being issued. Permit holders are responsible for ensuring that all other local agency regulations are complied with, such as, but not limited to, zoning and business license requirements.
B. 
Body art performed pursuant to this section shall be done only from an enclosed vehicle, such as a trailer or mobile home. No body art procedures shall be performed outside of the enclosed vehicle.
C. 
The mobile body art establishment shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition at all times. Doors shall be self-closing and tight-fitting. Open windows shall have tight-fitting screens.
D. 
Mobile body art establishments must have approved sterilization equipment available, in accordance with all requirements of the §§ 487-10 and 487-11, sanitation and sterilization procedures.
E. 
The mobile body art establishment shall be used only for the purpose of performing body art procedures. No habitation or food preparation is permitted inside the vehicle unless the body art work station is separated by walls, floor to ceiling, from the culinary or domicile areas.
F. 
The mobile body art establishment shall be equipped with equipment washing sink and a separate handsink for the exclusive use of the operator/technician for handwashing and preparing the client for the body art procedures. The handsink shall be supplied with hot and cold running water under pressure to a mixing type faucet, and liquid soap and paper towels in dispensers. An adequate supply of potable water shall be maintained for the mobile body art establishment at all times during operation. The source of the water and tank storage (gallons) of the tank(s) shall also be identified. Tuberculocidal single-use hand wipes, approved by the Department, to augment the handwashing requirements of this section, must be available.
G. 
All liquid wastes shall be stored in an adequate storage tank with a capacity of at least 50% greater than the capacity of the on-board potable water supply. Liquid wastes shall be disposed of at a site approved by the Department.
H. 
Restroom facilities must be available within the mobile body art establishment. A handsink must be available inside the restroom cubicle. The handsink shall be supplied with hot and cold running water under pressure to a mixing type faucet, liquid soap and paper towels in dispensers. Restroom doors must be self-closing and adequate ventilation must be available.
I. 
All body art operators/technicians working in a mobile body art establishment must have an operator permit and comply with the operator requirements of this Code.
J. 
No animals, except service animals of clients, shall be allowed in the mobile body art establishment at any time.
K. 
Mobile body art establishments must receive an initial inspection at a location specified by the Department prior to use to ensure compliance with structural requirements. Additional inspections will be performed at every event where the mobile body art establishment is scheduled to operate.
L. 
All mobile body art establishment and operator's permits and the disclosure notice must be readily seen by clients.

§ 487-22 Inspections.

A. 
The studio and its records shall be available for review and inspection by properly identified representatives of the Department.
B. 
A copy of the inspection report shall be displayed in a conspicuous place on the premises and also shall be available for public inspection at the appropriate Department wherein the studio is located.
C. 
During operating hours, the Department shall have access to the facility and the records for the purpose of enforcement of this chapter and COMAR 10.06.01.

§ 487-23 Violations and penalties; denial or revocation of license; appeal.

A. 
Persons who violate the provision(s) of this chapter shall be served with a notice to correct violations within the time specified therein.
B. 
The County Health Officer may order person(s) who violate the provisions of this chapter to cease tattooing pending correction of violations.
C. 
The County Health Officer may deny, suspend or revoke any permit provided for by this chapter for any establishment or artist who has violated or is violating the provisions of this chapter. In addition, the County Health Officer may deny, suspend or revoke any permit if the Officer finds that an applicant or permittee:
(1) 
Has falsified records submitted to the Health Department;
(2) 
Engages in a habitual pattern of alcohol and/or drug use;
(3) 
Demonstrates gross incompetence; or
(4) 
Fails to use proper sanitary methods.
D. 
The County Health Officer may suspend or revoke a permit only after a hearing. The County Health Officer shall notify the appropriate party or parties in writing at least 10 working days prior to the date set for the hearing. The written notice shall be served to the party(ies) by certified mail or in person.
E. 
Any person aggrieved by the decision or order of the County Health Officer shall be informed that he/she has a right to appeal the decision or order to an appropriate court pursuant to and in accordance with the Maryland Rules of Procedure.
F. 
A person who violates or fails to comply with any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor and be subject to up to 10 days in the Allegany County Detention and a fine of $1,000. Each day in violation may constitute a separate offense.