RICHMOND (KCBS) – New, stringent safety requirements are set to be imposed on body artists in the Bay Area and around the state.

The Safe Body Art Act was passed last year at a time when body art is perhaps more popular than ever before.

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Part of the reason behind the bill is that environmental health experts said body artists are less regulated than hairstylists.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

“The purpose of the law is to prevent both the body art practitioner and also their customers from getting diseases like hepatitis, HIV or other types of serious illnesses,” said Contra Costa Environmental Health Specialist Joe Doser.

The legislation will create comprehensive statewide standards for tattooing, body piercing and the application of permanent cosmetics in the state of California.

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“This is going to really focus on things like hand washing, wearing sterile gloves, using sterile equipment or if the equipment isn’t disposable, having an autoclave on site where they can sterilize the stuff,” Doser said.

In Contra Costa County, there are approximately 60 tattoo parlors and Doser said that operators will be soon be required to get health permits.

Inspectors will also be making more unannounced visits.

The new state law goes into effect July 1.

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