NEW TATTOOING RESTRICTIONS
Published: Monday, October 28, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 28, 2013 15:10
New proposed laws may affect business in local tattoo parlors with a possible 24-hour wait period.
“A mandatory 24-hour waiting period is among the provisions included in a 66-page package of draft regulations governing the ‘body art’ industry released by the city health department on Friday,” according to The Washington Post.
There is a new tattoo parlor in downtown Fargo, No Coast Tattoo. Co-owner Noah Kilsdonk explained how safe tattooing is, and how new proposed laws may affect the industry.
“I do not agree with that, because honestly our industry has been based a lot on those walk ins,” Kilsdonk said. “The walk-ins welcome sign is a staple in the tattoo industry.”
Walk-ins also account for many tattoo parlors main source of revenue. Forcing citizens to wait 24 hours to get a tattoo or piercing may kill off some of these businesses.
“I believe that you should be able to do whatever you want to your body whenever you want to,” NDSU student McKenzie Herz said. “There shouldn’t be time restrictions on your decisions.”
Herz is a freshman majoring in human development and family science. She has had 11 piercings and four tattoos done with only walk-ins, and agrees with Kilsdonk that walk-ins are a staple in the tattoo industry.
“It would just make me frustrated,” Herz said. “I think about my body modification well in advance, and if I want it now, I want it now. I have time now, not tomorrow or the next day.”
“Well, you have to look at it like this: This is going to be with me the rest of my life,” Jacob Herman, a student from Bismarck State College said. “I think having a waiting period gives you more time to think on it. That way you really know if you want it or not…It’s a good way to help people think things through.”
Some may argue that having a 24-hour wait period would force tattoo parlors to be more competitive, thus raising their standards to be more sterile environments, making the tattooing process safer for clients.
“The tattooing process is already incredibly safe if you’re in a reputable shop,” Kilsdonk said.
The reputability of the shop is one of the only things that make it safe; however, currently there are hardly any regulations for body modification in North Dakota.
“There is a medical board that we have to abide by, but each county and each city has their own laws.” Kilsdonk said. “Fargo is different than West Fargo, and they aren’t even that far away. They’re not under the same health regulations,”
No Coast Tattoo is trying to get North Dakota tattooing regulations to be more universal. It would like to have every tattoo artist required to be licensed and not allow minors to get a tattoo even with parental consent, among other changes. Cass County tattooing and body modification laws have not been changed or updated since Sept. 7, 2004. Kilsdonk explained why it is safe to be tattooed in a reputable shop.
“All equipment used in tattooing has to be autoclaved and if it cannot be autoclaved it has to be sterilized another way, such as a germicidal wipe,” he said. “If anything survives by the time we’re done with the whole process, the world is in a lot of hurt. There are super viruses that survive these methods, but tattooing is an extremely safe process.”
Kilsdonk also explained how tattoo artists use sterile techniques that are comparable to those used in the medical field.
“Our regulations are right up there or more sterile than some dental operations. We set up a sterile field, which would be considered almost a light surgery type field and clean the area, and everything is broken down in a certain manner much like you would break it down in a surgical field, such as an emergency room,” he said.
“We clean with the same stuff that hospitals use to clean their equipment. We have higher standards than most dental offices in this way. Needles are also all single use here.”
Cross contamination is one of the biggest ways that germs are spread in hospitals and tattoo parlors. Kilsdonk explained how they avoid this.
“We have sinks specifically for hand washing, and we do have a separate room for cleaning instruments so it’s not in the same area that we are tattooing, which is how it should always be,” he said. “There is no possibility of cross contamination.”
In advice for students wanting to become tattoo artists he said, “I think that you should go into any job with an open mind. A famous tattooer said, ‘I haven’t done my best, I’ve only done my best so far’ and it’s a great way to live. Do a good job every day.”