[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Wharton 12-12-2011 by Ord. No. O-20-11. Amendments noted where applicable.]
No person shall operate a tattoo establishment or engage in the practice or business of tattooing as a tattoo operator or as a tattoo artist unless such person shall first secure a license from the Wharton Health Department. Such license shall not be transferable and shall continue in force and effect until January 1 of the following year. In order to qualify for a license the operator shall satisfy all the training requirements set forth in N.J.A.C. 8:27-7.1.
Every applicant for a permit to operate a tattoo establishment must pay an annual fee as set forth below, which shall become due on the first day of January each year.
Size of Establishment
Annual Permit Fee
1 to 1,499
1,500 to 2,999
3,000 to 4,999
5,000 to 9,999
All persons engaged in the practice of tattooing shall adhere to the following standards for the protection of the health of the general public:
Rule 1. There shall be available within said tattoo establishment adequate hot and cold running water, soap, approved germicidal solution, individual hand brushes and fingernail files for each tattoo artist. Each tattoo artist shall clean his fingernails, wash his hands with soap and hot water using a hand brush and thoroughly rinse his hands in a germicidal solution to be approved by the Wharton Health Department before working on each patron or customer. An individual paper towel shall be used for drying the tattoo artist's hands after rinsing.
Rule 2. The floor of said tattoo establishment shall be of impervious materials and shall at all times be maintained in a clean condition. The tattoo establishment shall have proper facilities for the disposition of waste material.
Rule 3. Tattoo establishments must provide a minimum of 50 footcandles of light and must have adequate ventilation, and all walls and ceilings shall be painted a light color.
Rule 4. When it is necessary to shave the area to be tattooed, a safety razor shall be used and a new blade used for each person being tattooed, and the permanent parts of said safety razor shall be treated as hereinafter set forth:
It shall be cleansed with soap and water, rinsed in clean water and then sterilized by being boiled for a period of at least 20 minutes in an approved surgical sterilizer before the razor is used again on another person.
After shaving the area to be tattooed, said area shall be cleaned with an approved germicidal solution in a sanitary manner before the design is placed on the skin.
Rule 5. The stencil for transferring the design to the skin shall be thoroughly cleaned and rinsed in an approved germicidal solution.
Rule 6. Single-service containers shall be used for each customer, and when the operation is completed, the remaining dye in each container shall be discarded appropriately as medical waste.
Rule 7. Excess dye shall be removed from the skin with an individual sterile gauze, sterile cotton or sterile napkin. The completed tattoo shall be washed with a piece of sterile gauze or cotton saturated with a solution of tincture of green soap or equivalent as approved by the Wharton Health Department and disinfected with 70% alcohol. The tattooed area shall be allowed to dry and carbolated vaseline or its equivalent as approved by the Wharton Health Department and sterile gauze applied.
Rule 8. Toilets, urinals and hand-washing basins shall be conveniently located and accessible to patrons and operators.
Rule 9. All clean 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.
Rule 10. A steam sterilizer (autoclave) shall be provided for sterilizing all needles and similar instruments before use on any customer, person or patron. (Alternate sterilizing procedures may only be used when specifically approved by the Wharton Health Department.) Sterilization of equipment will be accomplished by exposure to live steam for at least 30 minutes at a minimum pressure of 15 pounds per square inch and temperature of 240° F.
Rule 11. The needles and instruments required to be sterilized shall be so used, handled and temporarily placed during tattooing that they will not be contaminated.
Rule 12. No person, customer or patron having any communicable skin infection or any other communicable disease shall be tattooed. A person, customer or patron having a noncommunicable skin disorder or disease may be tattooed provided that they receive medical clearance from their physician. All infections resulting from the practice of tattooing which become known to the operator shall promptly be reported to the Wharton Health Department by the person owning or operating the tattooing establishment, and the infected client shall be referred to a physician.
Rule 13. All bandages and surgical dressings used in connection with the tattooing of a person shall be sterile.
Rule 14. It shall be unlawful to tattoo any person under the age of 18 years without the written consent of his parent or guardian, and such written consent shall be kept on file for at least two years in the tattoo parlor where the operation is performed. Where there is doubt about such age, the operator shall obtain proof thereof before the operation is performed.
Rule 15. Permanent records for each patron shall be maintained by the operator of the tattoo shop. Before tattooing starts, the operator must obtain the patron's name, address, telephone number, type of tattoo, time of tattoo, dyes and pigments to be used and the name and address of the tattoo operator. Such records shall at all times be maintained in the tattoo parlor. When the tattoo parlor ceases operation, all such records shall be turned over to the Wharton Health Department.
Rule 16. Only dyes of a nontoxic nature shall be used in the tattoo process, and no homemade dyes may be used except with the express permission of the Wharton Health Department.
Rule 17. More than one set of sterilized needle, tubes and tips shall be kept on the premises at all times.
The Department of Health, Police Department and/or the Building Department shall, from time to time, at least once a year, make an inspection of each tattoo parlor granted a permit under the provisions of this chapter for the purpose of determining whether the provisions of this chapter are being complied with. Such inspections shall be made at reasonable times and in a reasonable manner. It shall be unlawful for any permittee to fail to allow such inspection officer access to the premises or to hinder such officer in any manner.