By Sara Nydam |Staff Writer|
The new Safe Body Art Act is posing what I think are unnecessary regulations on professional tattoo artists and piercers in California.
AB 300 seeks to raise $55,000 in revenue, according to the San Bernardino County Sun. I believe this money will be spent selfishly.
The San Bernardino Country Ordinance is going to comply with the new state law which will “require practitioners at the county’s 91 body-art establishments to undergo blood-born pathogen training” starting in June, reported the SB County Sun.
In order to raise the $55,000 for these programs, the state will be taking money from schools and local agencies, which means this act now affects our entire community.
According to the California Constitution, the state will reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs but there is absolutely nothing in the act that requires reimbursements to these facilities, as stated by aroundthecapitol.com.
I believe that these school districts and agencies will never see their money again. These specialized training programs are supposedly going to “deter the spread of viruses and infections, including hepatitis, HIV and staph,” according to the SB Sun.
I personally have been tattooed and pierced at five different parlors out of the 91 in San Bernardino County and each time the tattoo artist wears gloves and uses fresh and sterilized needles.
I can also assure you that I have not caught any viruses or infections after getting tattooed. In fact, there have been “no cases of HIV transmission through tattooing anywhere in the country since it began tracking such data in 1985,” reports tattooartist.com as cited from the Centers of Disease Control. In comparison, there “have been at least seven cases of HIV transmission associated with dentists and dental workers.”
These are professional tattoo shops, not places where they trade needles to shoot up heroin.
This act will be “deterring already honest people, people who are already doing it right,” said CSUSB student Becky Gallina.
If the county would like to pick on someone I suggest that they pick on at-home tattoo artists and piercers. “It’ll hopefully shut down a lot of these guys that are tattooing out of their house or garage and spreading around a bunch of viruses and staph infections,” said Eric Alguin, as reported in the SB County Sun.
If an “artist” is tattooing at home they are not a registered tattoo artist to begin with. They have not paid the current state mandated $25 fee and they are not required to follow any sanitary regulations so this “life-saving” act will not even apply to them, let alone save any one from a blood-pathogen disease.
I believe the money this act will generate for San Bernardino County is going to be far less than the amount of money they could get from ticketing illegal tattoo artists and piercers.
Rather than passing this act I believe the county should focus their energy on more important issues, such as getting our schools back on track.
Again, I think the county shouldn’t be wasting money on tattoo artists and piercers who already follow regulatory sanitation and safety rules. Instead the focus shoud be on the real problem and go after those who are tattooing and piercing illegally.
I do not believe that act AB 300 will be an effective solution to save lives but rather a selfish attempt by the state to raise revenue for themselves.