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All tattoo, body piercing and permanent makeup/cosmetic businesses must be permitted and inspected by the local health department. Statewide rules for tattoo and body piercing were adopted in 1998 and Franklin County Public Health uses these rules to permit and inspect tattoo, body piercing and permanent makeup/cosmetic businesses in the jurisdiction of the Franklin County General Health District. The main focus of this program is to prevent the spread of communicable diseases such as Hepatitis, HIV, and Staph infections.

View a current list of tattoo, body piercing and permanent makeup/cosmetic businesses licensed and inspected by Franklin County Public Health.

What We Inspect

When we inspect a tattoo or body piercing business, this is some of what we look at:

General Requirements

  • General cleanliness and sanitation of the business and procedure rooms
  • Minimum lighting requirements
  • Staff is trained in first aid, control of blood borne pathogens and proper aftercare

Before and during tattooing or piercing

  • Consent to tattoo or pierce need to be completed prior to tattooing or piercing
  • Tattooing or piercing of minors is not permitted without written consent and the presence of a parent or legal guardian
  • Hand washing is done before procedures
  • Clean, new disposable gloves are used
  • Tattoo areas are cleaned with anti-bacterial soap and an antiseptic
  • Piercing areas are cleaned with an antiseptic or anti-bacterial mouthwash for oral piercings
  • All Tattoo needles and the tattoo gun tubes shall be sterile
  • All Piercing needles, jewelry, clamps and instruments shall be sterile; piercing needles are single use only
  • Disposable needles, tubes and instruments shall be placed in a sharps container
  • Needles, tubes and other instruments may be cleaned and sterilized on site or pre-sterilized and disposable
  • Piercing jewelry used at the time of the piercing shall be 316 low carbon stainless steel, 14-18 karat gold, niobium, titanium, platinum or high-density/low-porosity acrylic

After tattooing or piercing

  • Written aftercare instruction shall be given to the client following the procedure
  • Any reusable equipment shall be properly cleaned, disinfected and sterilized using an on-site autoclave
  • Proper sterilization is confirmed by weekly spore testing of the autoclave
  • All procedure areas and any equipment (including the tattoo gun) shall be cleaned and disinfected
  • Records of all tattooing, piercing, sterilization and spore testing shall be kept and maintained for 2 years.

Things to Consider Before Getting a Tattoo or Piercing

  • Check with your doctor to make sure it is okay to get a tattoo or piercing
  • Make sure the business is currently permitted. All health departments issue a permit and this permit should be posted at the business
  • Ask about their sterilization process and whether they use disposable items or they sterilize on-site at the business
  • Ask for them to show you the procedure room(s)
  • Ask to see the sterile needles, jewelry and other instruments
  • Look for overall cleanliness
  • Ask if you can watch a procedure and see how they do it
  • Ask if you can see their aftercare instructions to see how to care for your tattoo or piercing.
  • Be cautious if the staff is not open about any of these things

Helpful Links & Resources

ODH Tattoo and Body Piercing Rules
Ohio Revised Code 3730 Tattoo and Body Piercing Services
Association of Professional Piercers
CDC on Tattoos and Piercings
Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals