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Tattoo regulation approved

Published (3/11/2010)
By Lauren Radomski
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A collaborative effort among lawmakers, state officials and tattoo artists could help keep Minnesota blood banks full.

Rep. Julie Bunn (DFL-Lake Elmo) sponsors HF677, which would license individuals and establishments offering tattoos and body piercings. The bill was requested by local blood banks, which turn down potential donors who have received a tattoo or body piercing within the past 12 months. By setting statewide standards for the body artists, Bunn’s legislation could prompt blood banks to eliminate the 12-month provision and allow more people to donate.

“To make sure for the future (that) we have an adequate supply of blood, they’re looking to make sure those who are of age and of a (certain) health status can be available to give…,” Bunn told the House Licensing Division March 4. “And we’re finding, culturally, that more and more people have tattoos and various kinds of body art.”

Bunn’s bill would require technicians to complete coursework on bloodborne pathogens and infection control. It would also set health and safety standards for performing procedures, including requiring the use of single-use needles and ink. Cities would be allowed to impose stricter measures if desired.

Approved by the division and the House Health Care and Human Services Policy and Oversight Committee March 9, it now goes to the House Civil Justice Committee. A companion, SF525, sponsored by Sen. Yvonne Prettner Solon (DFL-Duluth), awaits action by the Senate Health and Human Services Budget Division.

The bill is supported by the American Red Cross and Memorial Blood Centers, as well as tattoo artists who’ve had a hand in shaping the legislation. Tanika Nolan, an owner of ACME Tattoo Co. Inc. in St. Paul, is among them. She said some of the language in the bill needs work, but she supports it because it would offer the industry a measure of credibility.

“I hope that we can work together to come up with a good one instead of a quick one,” she said.

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