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Proposed Bill Would Mandate Statewide Body Art Regulations

TattooSPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – Proposed bill h. 1889 An act regulating body art would prohibit it, unless each parlor was licensed by the department of health. “It becomes a fine line where the government mandates what somebody can and can’t do to their body. I do think it’s good to have the health board and everything involved, and inspections involved, but to mandate it statewide? It’s kind of hard,” said Todd Lynch, owner of Instinkt.

Quincy representative Bruce Ayers sponsored the bill, saying that he’s not trying to take away anyone’s freedom he just wants to make it safe.

Lynch, has tattooing for the last 15 years, opening up Instinkt 7 months ago. He says Massachusetts already has stringent laws on the issue.

Tattooing was actually banned in Massachusetts from 1962-2000 because of Hepatitis outbreaks. As it stands now, each town and city regulates body piercing and art.  “The rule here in Springfield is 18 & up, you’re allowed to do lobes for piercing, that’s it. You have to apprentice under a licensed tattoo artist in order to become a licensed tattoo artist. That shop has to be licensed with the city, they do an inspection. It’s not like we can run around and do whatever we want, we are regulated,” Lynch stated.

Ayers says if the bill passes, it would also require education and training, sterilization, and enforce parental consent. He notes that a lot of input on the bill came from those already in the business.

Yesterday the bill was heard before the Joint Committee on Public Health, who is currently reviewing the legislation.

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