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§16-38-3. Operation standards.

(a) Records. -–

(1) Proper records of tattoos administered shall be maintained for each patron by the holder of the studio registration;

(2) A record shall be prepared for each patron prior to any procedure being performed and shall include the patron’s name and signature, address, age, date tattooed, design of the tattoo, location of the tattoo on the patron’s body and the name of the tattoo artist who performed the work;

(3) Record entries shall be in ink or indelible pencil and shall be available for examination by the inspecting authorities provided in §16-38-6 of this code;

(4) Before tattoo administration, the owner or tattoo artist shall discuss with the patron the risks involved in the tattoo requested, including the potential that a tattoo may interfere with the clinical reading of a magnetic resonance imaging study, should the patron intending to be tattooed ever encounter a medical need for such a study. The owner shall provide the patron with written information regarding the possible complications that may arise from receiving a tattoo. The written information shall be prepared by the Department of Health and Human Resources. Receipt of the information shall be acknowledged in writing by the patron. The owner or tattoo artist shall also keep and maintain the acknowledgment as part of the patron’s record pursuant to the provisions of subdivision (5) of this subsection.

(5) All records required by this section shall be kept on file for five years by the holder of the studio registration for the studio in which the tattoo was performed.

(b) Consent. —

(1) Prior written consent for tattooing of minors shall be obtained from one parent or guardian;

(2) All written consents shall be kept on file for five years by the holder of the studio registration for the tattoo studio in which the tattoo was performed;

(3) The person receiving the tattoo shall attest to the fact that he or she is not intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

(c) Tattooing procedures. —

(1) Printed instructions on the care of the skin after tattooing shall be given to each patron as a precaution to prevent infection;

(2) A copy of the printed instructions shall be posted in a conspicuous place, clearly visible to the person being tattooed;

(3) Each tattoo artist shall wear a clean outer garment, i.e., apron, smock, T-shirt, etc.;

(4) Tattoo artists who are experiencing diarrhea, vomiting, fever, rash, productive cough, jaundice, draining or open skin infections such as boils which could be indicative of more serious conditions such as, but not limited to, impetigo, scabies, hepatitis-b, HIV or AIDS shall refrain from tattooing activities until such time as they are no longer experiencing or exhibiting the aforementioned symptoms;

(5) Before working on each patron, the fingernails and hands of the tattoo artist shall be thoroughly washed and scrubbed with hot running water, antibacterial soap and an individual hand brush that is clean and in good repair;

(6) The tattoo artist’s hands shall be air blown dried or dried by a single-use towel. In addition, disposable latex examination gloves shall be worn during the tattoo process. The gloves shall be changed each time there is an interruption in the tattoo application, the gloves become torn or punctured or whenever their ability to function as a barrier is compromised;

(7) Only sterilized or single-use, disposable razors shall be used to shave the area to be tattooed;

(8) Immediately prior to beginning the tattoo procedure, the affected skin area shall be treated with an antibacterial solution;

(9) If an acetate stencil is used by a tattoo artist for transferring the design to the skin, the acetate stencil 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;

(10) If a paper stencil is used by a tattoo artist for transferring the design to the skin, the paper stencil shall be single-use and disposable;

(11) If the design is drawn directly onto the skin, the design shall be applied with a single-use article only.

(d) Dyes or pigments. —

(1) Only nontoxic sterile dyes or pigments shall be used and shall be prepared in sterilized or disposable single-use containers for each patron;

(2) After tattooing, the unused dye or pigment in the single-use containers shall be discarded along with the container;

(3) All dyes or pigments used in tattooing shall be from professional suppliers specifically providing dyes or pigments for the tattooing of human skin.

(e) Sterilization of needles. —

(1) A set of individual, sterilized needles shall be used for each patron;

(2) No less than 24 sets of sterilized needles and tubes shall be on hand for the entire day or night operation. Unused sterilized instruments shall be re-sterilized at intervals of no more than six months from the date of the last sterilization;

(3) Used, nondisposable instruments shall be kept in a separate, puncture resistant container until brush scrubbed in hot water and soap and then sterilized by autoclaving;

(4) If used instruments are ultrasonically cleaned prior to being placed in the used instrument container, they shall be ultrasonically cleaned and then rinsed under running hot water prior to being placed in the used instrument container;

(5) The ultrasonic unit shall be sanitized daily with a germicidal solution;

(6) If used instruments are not ultrasonically cleaned prior to being placed in the used instrument container, they shall be kept in a germicidal or soap solution until brush scrubbed in hot water and soap and then sterilized by autoclaving;

(7) All nondisposable instruments, including the needle tubes, shall be sterilized and shall be handled and stored in such a manner as to prevent contamination. Instruments to be sterilized shall be sealed in bags made specifically for the purpose of autoclave sterilization and shall include the date of sterilization. If nontransparent sterilization bags are utilized, the bag shall also list the contents;

(8) Autoclave sterilization bags, with a color code indicator which changes color upon proper steam sterilization, shall be utilized during the autoclave sterilization process;

(9) Instruments shall be placed in the autoclave in such a manner as to allow live steam to circulate around them;

(10) No rusty, defective or faulty instruments shall be kept in the studio.

(f) Aftercare of tattoo. —

The completed tattoo shall be washed with a single-use towel saturated with an antibacterial solution.

(g) It is unlawful for any person to perform or offer to perform scleral tattooing upon a person.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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