City of Easton, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Easton 3-23-2005 by Ord. No. 4652 (Art. 1200 of the 1965 Codified Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fees — See Ch. 285.
Public health standards — See Ch. 444.

§ 526-1 Purpose.

This chapter establishes sterilization, sanitation and safety standards for persons engaged in this business of tattooing, permanent cosmetics, ear and body piercing and body art, in order to protect the public's health, including licensing such businesses.

§ 526-2 Scope.

This chapter shall govern all businesses that offer tattooing, body piercing and body art. The provisions below are to be considered minimum standards and are to be in addition to any standards currently in effect or which may be established in the future by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the federal government.

§ 526-3 Definitions.

The following words and terms, as used in this chapter, shall have the following meaning, unless the content already indicates otherwise:
BODY ART
The practice of physical body adornment in permitted establishments by operators utilizing, but not limited to, the following techniques:
A. 
Body piercing;
B. 
Tattooing; and
C. 
Permanent cosmetics.
BODY PIERCING
Puncturing or penetration of the skin of a person with presterilized single-use needles and the insertion of presterilized or disinfected jewelry or other adornments thereto into the opening; except that puncturing the outer perimeter or lobe of the ear with a presterilized single-use stud and clasp ear piercing system shall not be included in this definition.
TATTOOING
Any method of placing ink or other inert 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. This includes all forms of permanent cosmetics.
TATTOOIST
The individual who performs tattooing, body piercing or body art.
TATTOO STUDIO
Includes tattoo parlor and any establishment that uses any method of placing ink or pigment into or under the skin or mucosa by aid of needles or any other instrument used to puncture the skin, resulting in permanent coloration of the skin or mucosa. This term shall also include establishments providing any form of cosmetic tattooing, body piercing and/or body art.
[Amended 2-11-2009 by Ord. No. 5187]

§ 526-4 Compliance required.

It shall be unlawful for any person to maintain, conduct, operate, manage or do tattooing within the City of Easton without obtaining a license and conforming at all times to the requirement of the Health Code and to all rules and regulations relating to the operation or maintenance of the business or performing tattooing, body piercing and/or body art.

§ 526-5 License and health certificates.

A. 
All licenses and health certificates may be issued at any time during the year, subject to renewal annually.
B. 
All applications shall be made to the Bureau of Health.
[Amended 2-11-2009 by Ord. No. 5187]
C. 
All licenses shall be conspicuously displayed in the applicant's place of business at all times.
D. 
All health certificates shall be immediately available upon request of the Chief Health Administrator.
E. 
The Board shall not issue any license unless:
(1) 
The fee prescribed by Chapter 285, Fees, is paid. Such fee shall be in addition to any other fees required by the City, county, state or federal government.
[Amended 2-11-2009 by Ord. No. 5187]
(2) 
Such information and/or records as the City Health Code may require are furnished.
(3) 
Such inspection as may be required by the City Health Code has been made.
(4) 
The person applying therefor and/or the business for which such license or health certificate is sought complies in every respect with the City Health Code.
F. 
All licenses shall be conditioned upon continued compliance with the City Health Code.

§ 526-6 Permit and inspection fees.

[Amended 2-11-2009 by Ord. No. 5187]
No persons, firm or corporation shall operate a tattoo studio without first obtaining a permit from the Bureau of Health and paying an initial application, inspection and license fee and thereafter a yearly inspection and license fee, as specified in Chapter 285, Fees.

§ 526-7 Application.

[Amended 2-11-2009 by Ord. No. 5187]
An application for a permit to operate a tattoo studio or perform the work of a tattooist shall be on forms provided by the Bureau of Health, which shall set forth the name, residence and business address and telephone number of the applicant, the names of the persons operating the establishment and such additional information which the Bureau of Health may require to determine whether the provisions of the Health Code are being complied with and to enforce these provisions.

§ 526-8 Existing businesses.

Any business currently in operation as a tattoo studio, as covered herein, prior to the introduction of this chapter, and which is otherwise properly licensed to do business in Easton, Pennsylvania, must make application within 120 days of adoption of this chapter and otherwise be in compliance with the standards set forth herein within 30 days.

§ 526-9 Physical facilities.

A. 
A tattoo studio must be in a permanent, nondwelling building or portion of a building which is in compliance with applicable Building Code and must be in a location which is permissible under local zoning codes, if any. The tattoo studio shall be separated from living quarters by complete floor-to-ceiling partitioning and shall contain no access to living quarters.
B. 
The tattoo studio or temporary location shall be maintained in a sanitary condition.
(1) 
Work surfaces shall be cleaned and sanitized with hospital (grade) United States Environmental Protection Agency-registered disinfectants or a 1:100 dilution of household bleach and water (1/4 cup bleach and one gallon of water).
(2) 
Other environmental surfaces shall be cleaned with an all-purpose detergent disinfectant.
C. 
The walls, ceilings and floors shall be kept in good repair. Tattooing areas shall be constructed of smooth, hard surfaces that are nonporous, free of open holes or cracks, light-colored and easily cleaned. New tattoo studios shall not include dark-colored surfaces in the tattooing area. Existing tattoo studios with dark-colored surfaces in the tattooing area shall replace the dark-colored surfaces with light-colored surfaces whenever the facilities are extensively remodeled.
D. 
Tattoo studio or temporary location shall have adequate lighting of at least 50 footcandles of illumination in the tattooing area.
E. 
Adequate ventilation shall be provided.
F. 
Each tattoo studio or temporary location shall be equipped with hand-washing facilities for its personnel with unobstructed access to the tattoo area such that a tattooist can return to the tattoo area without having to touch anything with his hands. Hand-washing facilities shall be equipped with hot and cold or tempered running water, liquid germicidal soap, single-service towels or other approved hand-drying devices and a refuse container. Such facilities shall be kept clean and in good repair.
G. 
Animals are not permitted in the tattoo studio or temporary locations, except for guide or service animals accompanying persons with disabilities or non-mammalian animals in enclosed glass containers such as fish aquariums, which shall be outside the tattooing area.
H. 
Smoking shall be prohibited in the tattoo area. Consumption of alcoholic beverages shall be prohibited in tattoo studios or temporary locations.
I. 
The tattoo studio or temporary location shall be kept free of rodents and vermin and protected from infestation by insects and shall be exterminated by a professional licensed exterminator, as required, with a copy of said report.
J. 
If tattooing is performed where cosmetology services are provided, it shall be performed in an area that is separate and enclosed.
K. 
The facilities must have obtained a clear certificate of occupancy from the appropriate City officials.

§ 526-10 Personnel responsibilities.

A. 
All tattooists while applying tattoos shall wear clean outer garments and maintain a high degree of personal cleanliness and conform to hygienic practices while on duty.
B. 
All tattooists shall wash their hands thoroughly using hot or tempered water with a liquid germicidal soap before and after applying a tattoo and as often as necessary to remove contaminants.
C. 
All tattooists must wear single-serve examination gloves while assembling tattoo equipment and while applying tattoos and intradermal cosmetics.
D. 
When tattoo sessions are interrupted or immediately after gloves are torn or perforated:
(1) 
Gloves shall be removed and discarded; and
(2) 
Hands shall be washed and a fresh pair of gloves used as necessary, and the tattooists shall have a new pair for each client.
E. 
Tattooists shall be free of communicable disease, open sores or exudative lesions while applying tattoos.
F. 
The area of the client's skin to be tattooed shall be cleaned with a germicidal skin preparation and the tattooist shall treat the skin with seventy-percent isopropyl alcohol, iodophor or other United States Food and Drug Administration-approved antiseptic products.
G. 
If shaving is required, razors shall be single-service.
H. 
Each tattooist or any person performing any cosmetic procedure in the tattoo studio or temporary location shall have the education, training and experience, or any combination thereof, to practice aseptic technique. All tattoo procedures shall be performed using aseptic technique.

§ 526-11 License and permit issuance coordination.

A. 
The application for license will be made to the License Clerk of the City, and the Chief Health Administrator is authorized to confirm that all other permits required for the operation have been obtained prior to issuance of a license.
B. 
Upon disapproval of any of the above, the Chief Health Administrator shall refuse to approve the application. In the event of an appeal by the applicant, a hearing shall be held before the Board, at which all of the above officials who have disapproved the application shall be present and shall present the reasons for their disapproval.
C. 
If the application for a license is for an existing business establishment or other use, upon rejection of an application the Chief Health Administrator shall immediately order the discontinuance of the business establishment or other use of the area, premises, building or structure with signs giving notice thereof and shall notify the Chief of Police that the starting or continuance of the business in that place is forbidden.
D. 
No person shall knowingly make to or file with the Board or the Chief Health Administrator any false return, statement or report relative to any matter concerning which a report or return may be legally required of or should be made by such person. No person shall make any false, untruthful or misleading statement in any application to or filed with the Board or the Chief Health Administrator for a license, health certificate or for any purpose for which an application may be required.
E. 
The License Clerk of the City shall not issue any license for the operation of any business, establishment or other use subject to the City Health Code under the licensing jurisdiction in the City until an approved copy of the licenses and health certificates of all employees concerned, if the license or health certificates are required by the City Health Code, have been received by him for the Board on such forms as are prescribed by the Board.

§ 526-12 Client qualifications and disclosure.

A. 
Except as permitted in Subsection B of this section, a client must be a minimum of 18 years of age and have a positive identification card such as a driver's license, passport or other picture identification in their possession. The tattooist shall verify and document in the permanent client record the client's age, date of birth and the type of identification provided.
B. 
A tattooist may tattoo a person younger than 18 years of age only if he does so in the presence of the person's parent or guardian and obtains written and notarized consent from a parent or guardian.
[Amended 2-11-2009 by Ord. No. 5187]
C. 
No person may be tattooed who appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
D. 
Tattooing shall not be performed on a skin surface which manifests any evident of unhealthy conditions, such as rashes, boils, infections or abrasions.
E. 
Before receiving a tattoo, each client shall be informed in writing about the possible risk and dangers associated with the application of each tattoo. These shall include but are not limited to at least the following: the possibility of discomfort or pain, the permanence of the markings, the risk of infection and the possibility of allergic reaction to the pigments or other materials used.

§ 526-13 Records.

A. 
The written consent shall include:
(1) 
Full name, address and telephone number of the client;
(2) 
Full name, address and telephone number of the parent or guardian;
(3) 
A detailed description or photograph of the tattoo to be covered;
(4) 
Location on the body of the tattoo to be covered; and
(5) 
Signature of minor and parent or guardian.
B. 
The tattoo studio or temporary location shall maintain proper records of each client. The information shall be permanently recorded and made available for examination by the authorized agent. Records shall be maintained at the tattoo studio for at least two years following the date of the last entry. The license holder shall maintain the temporary location's client records. These permanent records shall include the following:
(1) 
The name, address and telephone number of the client;
(2) 
The date tattoo was applied;
(3) 
The client's age, date of birth and type of positive identification provided to the tattooist;
(4) 
The specific color or colors of the tattoo applied to the client and, when available, the manufacturer's catalogue or identification number of each color used;
(5) 
The location on the body where the tattoo is applied;
(6) 
The name of the tattooist;
(7) 
A statement that the client has received a copy of written care instructions and that the client has read and understands the care instructions; and
(8) 
The signature of the client.

§ 526-14 Sterilization.

A. 
A tattoo studio or temporary location is required to utilize tools and equipment for tattooing that have been properly sterilized and kept in a sterile condition. The tattoo studio or temporary location shall use sterilization equipment that is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for the purpose of sterilization and adequate in size to accommodate needles, tubes, tips and other necessary utensils and equipment. A copy of the manufacturer's recommended procedures for operation of the sterilization unit(s) must be available for inspection by an authorized agent.
B. 
Each person responsible for the sterilization of equipment shall be able to demonstrate to the Department's authorized agent the correct sterilization procedures and the proper operation of autoclave and/or dry heat sterilization equipment.
C. 
After each use, the reusable tattooing equipment shall be cleansed to remove blood and tissue residue before sterilization as described in § 526-16 (relating to tattooing equipment).
D. 
Each package of equipment sterilized shall be monitored for sterilization by the use of chemical/heat-sensitive indicators.
E. 
Equipment requiring sterilization shall be packed in packages approved for the sterilization unit. Equipment shall be packed individually or as a set, provided such set is intended to be used for a single tattoo procedure. Each package shall be labeled with the date of sterilization and the initials of the person sterilizing. Packaged sterilized equipment shall be stored in a clean dust-tight container when not in use.
F. 
Each tattoo studio or temporary location shall maintain sterilization records. The information shall be permanently recorded and made available for examination by an authorized agent in the tattoo studio for at least two years from the date of the last entry. These permanent records shall be maintained at the studio and shall include the following:
(1) 
Date of sterilization;
(2) 
Quantity and type of equipment to be sterilized; and
(3) 
Name of individual sterilizing the equipment.
G. 
Sterilized equipment stored in an approved manner and not used within 30 days after sterilization shall no longer be considered sterile and shall be resterilized before use, unless the studio or temporary location utilizes presterilized equipment sterilized by the manufacturer. If presterilized equipment is used, the tattooist shall obtain documentation from the manufacturer that describes the method of sterilization utilized by the manufacturer and the manufacturer's recommendations for storage and maintenance of sterility. The documentation shall be available for inspection by an authorized agent. The tattooist shall follow the manufacturer's instructions for storage and maintenance of sterility.
H. 
One of the following methods of sterilization shall be used.
(1) 
Autoclave-steam under pressure:
(a) 
One hundred twenty-one degrees Celsius (250° F.) and a pressure of at least 15 pounds per square inch for not less than 30 minutes after the chamber of the autoclave has been evacuated of air and has reached the required temperature; or
(b) 
As specified in the manufacturer's operator's manual.
(2) 
Dry heat sterilization:
(a) 
One hundred sixty degrees Celsius (320° F.) for not less than one hour under atmospheric pressure after the sterilizer has reached the required temperature; or
[Amended 2-11-2009 by Ord. No. 5187]
(b) 
As specified in the manufacturer's operator's manual.

§ 526-15 Care of the tattoo.

A. 
Each time a tattoo is applied the client shall receive oral and written instructions on the care of the newly applied tattoo. The client shall sign a written statement in the permanent client record acknowledging that the client has received a copy of the written care instructions and that the client has read and understands the instruction.
B. 
The written care instructions shall contain at least the following items:
(1) 
For at least two weeks, the need to minimize exposure to the sun and to discourage swimming in fresh, salt or chlorinated pool water;
(2) 
To properly cleanse the tattooed area;
(3) 
To apply antibiotic ointment or cream;
(4) 
To use sterile bandage(s) or other sterile dressing(s) when necessary;
(5) 
The name of the tattooist, the name, address and telephone number of the tattoo studio or temporary location; and
(6) 
The instructions for the client to consult a health care provider at the first sign of infection or an allergic reaction and to report to the tattooist and to the City of Easton Bureau of Health any infection, allergic reaction or adverse reaction resulting from the application of the tattoo.

§ 526-16 Tattooing equipment.

A. 
Reusable needles, bars and tubes shall be constructed in a manner that permits easy cleaning and sterilization.
B. 
All dyes or pigments used in tattooing shall be nontoxic, free from adulteration and made from materials generally regarded as safe.
C. 
Only single-service pigment or dye containers shall be used for each client. Individual containers of dye or pigment shall be discarded after use.
D. 
In order to minimize transmission of body fluids and disease, single-service plastic covers shall be used to cover spray bottles or other reusable accessories for multiple client use that are handled by the tattooist during application of tattoos to multiple clients.
E. 
All tattoo stencils shall be single-service. Petroleum jellies, soaps and other products used in the application of stencils shall be dispensed and applied using aseptic technique and in a manner to prevent contamination of the original container and its contents. The applicator shall be single-service.
F. 
Contaminated reusable tattoo equipment shall be placed in a covered container of disinfectant solution such as 2.0% alkaline glutaraldehyde (not to be construed as all-inclusive), until it can be cleaned and sterilized.
G. 
All containers holding contaminated tattoo equipment and container lids shall be emptied of contaminated solution and cleaned and sanitized daily or more often if needed.
H. 
Reusable tattoo equipment shall be cleaned by gloved personnel prior to sterilization by one of the following methods:
(1) 
Clean the items in an ultrasonic cleaning unit used according to manufacturer's instruction. A copy of the manufacturer's recommended procedures for operation of the ultrasonic cleaning unit must be available for inspection by an authorized agent; and
(2) 
Rinse and dry the items prior to packaging for sterilization.

§ 526-17 Report of infection or allergic reactions.

A. 
The tattoo studio shall provide a written report of any infection or allergic reaction resulting from the application of a tattoo to the Bureau of Health within five working days of its occurrence or knowledge thereof. The report shall include:
(1) 
The name of the affected client;
(2) 
The name and location of the tattoo studio or temporary location;
(3) 
The name of the tattooist;
(4) 
The date the tattoo was applied;
(5) 
The specific color or colors of the tattoo and, when available, the manufacturer's catalogue or identification number of each color used;
(6) 
The location of the infection and the location on the body where the tattoo was applied;
(7) 
The name and address of the health-care provider, if any; and
(8) 
Any other information considered relevant to the situation.
B. 
The Bureau of Health shall utilize these reports in its efforts to identify the source of the adverse reaction(s) and to take action to prevent its recurrence.

§ 526-18 Disposal of infectious waste.

A. 
Used tattoo needles, disposable razors and other sharps shall be subjected to the methods of treatment and disposal of sharps as described by the American Medical Association and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
B. 
Other studio wastes generated during the tattoo process, i.e., cotton balls, cotton tip applicators, tissues, paper towels, gloves and pigment containers (not to be construed as all-inclusive) shall be disposed of in accordance with the City of Easton's refuse laws.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 500, Art. II, Solid Waste Storage and Collection.

§ 526-19 Revocation or suspension.

A. 
The approval and license for any person to operate a tattoo studio or act as a tattooist may be suspended at any time, when the Chief Health Administrator of the City of Easton Bureau of Health or such designee as approved by the Board of Health of the City of Easton determines that such action is necessary to abate a present or threatened menace to the public health. Licenses may be revoked by the Chief Health Administrator for any violation of the laws of Pennsylvania concerning health, the regulations of the Pennsylvania Advisory Board of Health, the City Health Code or of the agreement contained in the application for the license, except licenses authorized by resolution of the Board. The following shall be reasons for revocation or suspension:
[Amended 2-11-2009 by Ord. No. 5187]
(1) 
It has been determined that a false statement was made in the application or renewal application for license.
(2) 
The licensee has violated any section of this chapter.
(3) 
Failure or lack of properly functioning equipment.
(4) 
Unsanitary or unsafe conditions which may adversely impact the health of the public.
(5) 
The Bureau of Health has reasonable cause to suspect that a communicable disease is being or may be transmitted by a tattooist.
(6) 
The tattooist has demonstrated gross incompetence in performing body piercing, ear piercing, tattooing or micropigmentation.
(7) 
The owner or tattooist has been convicted in this or any other state of a crime directly related to the practice of tattooing, micropigmentation, body piercing, ear piercing or body art.
(8) 
The owner or tattooist has permitted piercing or a tattoo upon a person under 18 years of age and in violation of this chapter.
B. 
The following shall be cause for, and at a minimum, a seven-day suspension: Failure to report to the Bureau of Health within 24 hours any infection or injury requiring a medical referral. A second offense may be cause for closure.
C. 
Notwithstanding the above, in the event Chief Health Administrator has determined there is an imminent danger to public health, the Chief Health Administrator may order immediate closure of the facility.
[Amended 2-11-2009 by Ord. No. 5187]

§ 526-20 Appeal from action of Chief Health Administrator.

[Amended 2-11-2009 by Ord. No. 5187]
Any person receiving sanctions pursuant to this section shall be given written notice and allowed 30 days from the date of service to file an appeal to the City of Easton Board of Health, in which event a hearing shall be scheduled within 30 days of notice of said appeal. Notwithstanding the above, the Chief Health Administrator may require immediate closure to prevent imminent danger to the public health; in which event owner may request a hearing before the Board of Health within 30 days from the filing of an appeal from such action.