H. B. 4003
(By Delegate Linch)
[Introduced January 10, 1996; referred to the
Committee on Health and Human Resources then the
A BILL to amend chapter thirty of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding
thereto a new article, designated article thirty-five,
relating to regulating the body piercing studio business;
definitions; outlining standards for sanitation, facilities,
operation, procedures and equipment; requiring informed
consent of patrons; requiring consent of parent or guardian
for piercing of minors; disposing of waste; requiring
registration and inspection of body piercing studios by
local or regional boards of health; requiring operating
permits; authorizing fees; providing for disposition of
fees; and establishing criminal penalties for certain
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That chapter thirty of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by
adding thereto a new article, designated article thirty-five, to
read as follows:
ARTICLE 35. BODY PIERCING STUDIO BUSINESS.
(a) "Adequate ventilation" means a free and unrestricted
circulation of fresh air throughout the body piercing studio and
the expulsion of foul or stagnant air.
(b) "Antibacterial solution" means any solution used to
retard the growth of bacteria approved for application to human
skin and includes all products so labeled.
(c) "Body piercing" means to puncture the skin for the
purpose of creating a hole to be decorated or adorned.
(d) "Body piercing studio" means any room or space where
body piercing is practiced or where the business of body piercing
or any part thereof is conducted.
(e) "Germicidal solution" means any solution which destroys
germs, and is so labeled.
(f) "Minor" means any person under the age of eighteen
(g) "Sterilization" means holding in an autoclave for
twenty-five minutes at fifteen pounds pressure at a temperature
of two hundred fifty degrees Fahrenheit or one hundred twenty-one degrees Celsius.
§30-35-2. Studio sanitation.
(a) A body piercing artist's hands shall be washed and then
air blown or dried by single use towel prior to beginning work on
each person or when interrupted in the process of working on a
person. In addition, disposable latex examination gloves shall
be worn by a body piercing artist during the body piercing
process. The gloves shall be changed and properly disposed of
each time there is an interruption in the application of the body
piercing, each time the gloves become torn or punctured, or
whenever the ability of the gloves to function as a barrier is
(b) Cabinets for the storage of instruments, utensils and
single use articles shall be provided for each body piercing
artist and shall be maintained in a sanitary manner.
(c) Bulk single use articles shall be commercially packaged
and handled in such a way as to protect them from contamination.
Storage of single use articles may not be in toilet rooms or in
vestibules of toilet rooms nor under nonpotable water lines or
exposed sewer lines.
(d) Work tables and chairs or benches shall be provided for
each body piercing artist. The surface of all work tables and
chairs or benches shall be constructed of material which is
smooth, light colored, nonabsorbent, corrosive-resistant, and easily sanitized. The work tables and chairs or benches shall be
sanitized with a germicidal solution after each body piercing
procedure. All body piercing studios in existence on the date of
the initial enactment of this article are exempt from the
required color of the work table.
(e) All materials applied to human skin shall be from single
use articles or transferred from bulk containers to single use
containers and shall be disposed of after each use.
(f) No pets, including working dogs, guide dogs or security
dogs from a certified trainer, may be permitted in a body
piercing studio workroom as defined in subsection (b) of section
four of this article.
§30-35-3. Operation standards.
(1) Proper records of body piercings administered shall be
maintained for each patron by the holder of the studio
(2) A record shall be prepared for each patron prior to any
procedure being performed and shall include the patron's name and
signature, address, age, date of body piercing, location of the
body piercing on the patron's body, and the name of the body
piercing artist who performed the work.
(3) Record entries shall be in ink or indelible pencil and
shall be available for examination by the inspecting authorities provided in section six of this article.
(4) Before body piercing administration, the studio owner or
body piercing artist shall discuss with the patron the risks
involved in the body piercing requested and the possible
complications, which shall be entered in the record.
(5) All records required by this section shall be kept on
file for five years by the holder of the studio registration for
the studio in which the body piercing was performed.
(1) Prior written consent for body piercing of minors shall
be obtained from one parent or legal guardian.
(2) All written consents shall be kept on file for five
years by the holder of the studio registration for the body
piercing studio in which the body piercing was performed.
(3) The person receiving the body piercing shall attest to
the fact that he or she is not intoxicated or under the influence
of drugs or alcohol.
(c) Body piercing procedures.
(1) Printed instructions on the care of the skin after body
piercing shall be given to each patron as a precaution to prevent
(2) A copy of the printed instructions shall be posted in a
conspicuous place, clearly visible to the person being body
(3) Each body piercing artist shall wear a clean outer
garment, i.e., apron, smock, T-shirt, etc.
(4) Any body piercing artist who is experiencing diarrhea,
vomiting, fever, rash, productive cough, jaundice, or a draining
or open skin infection such as boils which condition could be
indicative of a more serious condition such as, but not limited
to, impetigo, scabies, hepatitis-b, HIV or AIDS shall refrain
from body piercing activities until such time as the body
piercing artist is no longer experiencing or exhibiting the
(5) Before working on each patron, the fingernails and hands
of the body piercing artist shall be thoroughly washed and
scrubbed with hot running water, antibacterial soap, and an
individual hand brush that is clean and in good repair.
(6) A body piercing artist's hands shall be air blown dried
or dried by a single use towel. In addition, disposable latex
examination gloves shall be worn during the body piercing
procedure. The gloves shall be changed each time there is an
interruption in the body piercing application, the gloves become
torn or punctured, or whenever their ability to function as a
barrier is compromised.
(7) Only sterilized or single use, disposable razors may be
used to shave the area to be body pierced.
(8) Immediately prior to beginning the body piercing procedure the affected skin area shall be treated with an
(9) Any mark made directly onto the skin shall be applied
with a single use and disposable article only.
(d) Sterilization of needles.
(1) An individual, sterilized needle shall be used for each
(2) No less than twenty-four sterilized needles may be on
hand for the entire day or night operation. Unused sterilized
instruments shall be resterilized at intervals of no more than
six months from the date of the last sterilization.
(3) Used, nondisposable instruments shall be kept in a
separate, puncture resistant container until brush scrubbed in
hot water and soap, and then sterilized by autoclaving.
(4) Any used instrument which is processed in an ultrasonic
unit prior to being placed in the used instrument container shall
next be rinsed under running hot water prior to being placed in
the used instrument container.
(5) The ultrasonic unit shall be sanitized daily with a
(6) Any used instrument which is not processed in an
ultrasonic unit prior to being placed in the used instrument
container, shall be kept in a germicidal or soap solution until
brush scrubbed in hot water and soap, and then sterilized by autoclaving.
(7) All nondisposable instruments shall be sterilized and
shall be handled and stored in such a manner as to prevent
contamination. Instruments to be sterilized shall be sealed in
bags made specifically for the purpose of autoclave
sterilization, and shall include the date of sterilization. If
nontransparent sterilization bags are utilized, the bag shall
also list the contents.
(8) Autoclave sterilization bags, with a color code
indicator which changes color upon proper steam sterilization,
shall be utilized during the autoclave sterilization process.
(9) Instruments shall be placed in the autoclave in such a
manner as to allow live steam to circulate around them.
(10) No rusty, defective or faulty instruments may be kept
in the studio.
(e) After care of body piercing.
The completed body piercing shall be washed with a single
use towel saturated with an antibacterial solution.
§30-35-4. Facilities and equipment.
(a) General physical environment.
(1) Body piercing studios shall have at least fifty
footcandles of light and adequate ventilation. Walls and
ceilings shall be painted a light color.
(2) The floor of the body piercing workroom shall be constructed of impervious material. The floor shall be swept and
wet mopped daily. Floors, walls, or ceilings may not be swept or
cleaned while body piercing is in operation.
(3) Convenient, clean, and sanitary toilet and hand-washing
facilities shall be made accessible to patrons.
(4) The building and equipment shall be maintained in a
state of good repair at all times. The studio premises shall be
kept clean, neat and free of litter and rubbish.
(1) Each body piercing studio shall have a workroom separate
from a waiting room or any room or rooms used for any other
purpose. The workroom may not be used as a corridor for access
to other rooms. Patrons or customers may be body pierced only in
(2) The workroom shall be equipped with hot and cold running
water, with one sink or basin per artist operating at the same
(3) The sinks and basins shall be for the exclusive use of
the body piercing artists for washing their hands and preparing
patrons for body piercing. Each sink and basin shall be equipped
with foot, wrist or single lever action controls, soap, a
germicidal solution, single use towels and individual hand
brushes clean and in good repair for each body piercing artist.
All plumbing shall be in compliance with industry standards.
(4) Persons may not consume any food or drink nor smoke in
§30-35-5. Disposal of waste.
The body piercing studio operator shall comply with rules
promulgated by the commissioner of the bureau of public health
regarding the disposal of medical wastes.
§30-35-6. Registration requirements; inspections by local or
regional boards of health; permit fees.
(a) Any body piercing studio in West Virginia shall obtain
a West Virginia business registration certificate and shall
register with the local or regional board of health.
(b) Each local or regional board of health shall conduct
annual inspections of body piercing studios to determine
compliance with this article. Every person, firm or corporation
operating a body piercing studio in West Virginia shall apply to
the local or regional board of health for the inspection. The
local or regional board of health shall attempt to conduct the
inspection within ten days of the receipt of the request for
inspection: Provided, That if it is impracticable for the local
or regional board of health to conduct the investigation within
ten days after receiving the application, the board may issue to
the applicant a temporary operating permit which shall be valid
for thirty days or until a regular inspection is made, whichever
(c) Upon a determination by the board that any body piercing
studio is not in compliance with the provisions of this article,
the board may order the body piercing studio to cease operations
until such time as the board determines that the body piercing
studio is in compliance.
(d) Upon a determination by the board that the body piercing
studio is in compliance with the provisions of this article, the
board shall issue to the body piercing studio an operating permit
that shall be posted in a conspicuous place in the body piercing
studio, clearly visible to the general public.
(e) The body piercing studio shall pay to the local or
regional board of health a two hundred dollar fee for an
operating permit to be issued.
§30-35-7. Violations and penalties.
Any owner of a body piercing studio who does not obtain a
West Virginia business registration certificate, who does not
register with the local or regional board of health, or who
fails to request an inspection pursuant to section six of this
article is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof,
for a first offense, may have all of the body piercing equipment
and paraphernalia confiscated and shall be fined one hundred
dollars. For a second offense, which is a misdemeanor, the owner
may have all of the body piercing equipment and paraphernalia
confiscated and shall be fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars or be imprisoned in the county
or regional jail for not less than ten days nor more than one
year, or both fined and imprisoned. For a third offense, which
is a misdemeanor, the owner shall have all the body piercing
equipment and paraphernalia confiscated, shall be fined not less
than one thousand dollars nor more than five thousand dollars, or
be imprisoned in the county or regional jail not less than thirty
days nor more than one year, or both fined and imprisoned.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide regulations
and safety standards for body piercing and to impose criminal
penalties for violations.
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.