H. B. 4049
(By Delegates Linch and Fleischauer)
[Introduced January 21, 1998; referred to the
Committee on Government Organization then Finance.]
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-eight,
relating to regulating the body piercing studio business;
definitions; outlining standards for facilities and
equipment; operation standards and procedures; record- keeping; requiring informed consent of patrons; requiring
consent of parent or guardian for piercing of minors; rules;
disposing of waste; requiring registration and inspection of
body piercing studios by local or regional boards of health;
requiring operating permits; and establishing criminal
penalties for certain violations.
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-eight, to
read as follows:
ARTICLE 38. 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) "Antimicrobial solution" means any solution used to
retard the growth of microorganisms.
(c) "Body piercing" means to puncture the skin for the
purpose of creating a hole to be decorated or adorned, but does
not include the use of a mechanized, presterilized ear-piercing
system that penetrates the outer perimeter or lobe of the ear or
(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) "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
(f) "Single use" means products, instruments or items that are used one time on one client and then properly disposed of in
accordance with rules of the bureau of public health regarding
the disposal of medical wastes.
(g) "Universal precautions" means that all blood and body
fluids are treated as to contain all bloodborne pathogens and all
proper precautions to prevent the spread of any bloodborne
pathogens are taken.
(h) "Minor" means any person under the age of eighteen
(i) "Operator" means any person who is registered with the
state to operate, control or manage a body piercing studio, and
whose studio has been issued an operating permit by the local or
regional board of health.
(j) "Technician" means an individual who engages in the
practice of body piercing.
(k) "Bureau" means the West Virginia bureau of public health
of the department of health and human resources.
§30-38-2. Studio 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.
(b) Workroom. --
(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 technician operating at the
(3) The sinks and basins shall be for the exclusive use of
the technicians 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, an antimicrobial
solution, single use towels and individual hand brushes clean and
in good repair for each technician. All plumbing shall be in compliance with industry standards.
(4) No food or drink may be sold or consumed, nor may
smoking be permitted, in any workroom.
(5) Cabinets for the storage of instruments, utensils and
single use articles shall be provided for each technician and
shall be maintained in a sanitary manner.
(6) 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.
(7) Work tables and chairs or benches shall be provided for
each technician. 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 an
antimicrobial 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.
(8) No pets, including working dogs, guide dogs or security
dogs from a certified trainer, may be permitted in a body
piercing studio workroom.
§30-38-3. Operation standards.
(a) Records. --
(1) 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
technician who performed the work.
(2) 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.
(3) Before body piercing administration, the studio operator
or technician shall provide the patron with a copy of the written
notification adopted by the bureau by rules to be proposed
pursuant to section four of this article, advising of the risks
and possible complications. The patron shall affirm receipt of
the notification by written signature, which shall be entered in
(4) All records required by this section shall be kept on
file for five years by the operator of the studio in which the
body piercing was performed.
(b) Consent. --
(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 operator of the studio in which the body piercing
(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) Each technician shall wear a clean outer garment.
(2) Before working on each patron, the technician's
fingernails and hands shall be thoroughly washed and scrubbed
with hot running water, antimicrobial soap and an individual hand
brush that is clean and in good repair, and air blown dry or
dried by a single use towel.
(3) 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.
(4) Immediately prior to beginning the body piercing
procedure, the affected skin area shall be treated with an
(5) Only sterilized or single use, disposable razors may be
used to shave the area to be body pierced.
(6) Any materials or marks applied directly onto the skin
shall be applied with a single use article and disposed of after
(7) The completed body piercing shall be washed with a
single use towel saturated with an antimicrobial solution.
(8) Printed instructions on the care of the skin after body
piercing shall be adopted by the bureau by rule pursuant to
section four of this article, and shall be given to each patron.
A copy of the printed instructions shall be posted in a
conspicuous place in the studio, clearly visible to the person
being body pierced.
§30-38-4. Rules to be proposed by the bureau of public health.
(a) The commissioner of the bureau of public health shall
propose legislative rules as necessary to implement and enforce
the provisions of this article. The rules shall include
permitting requirements for operators and technicians; fees for
permits and renewals of permits sufficient to cover the costs of
inspecting facilities and administering this act; written
notification of the risks of body piercing procedures; safety and
sterilization procedures; the use of needles and other
instruments; the exercise of universal precautions; and
instructions on the care of the skin after body piercing
procedures. The rules may also include training or educational requirements or materials; health screenings for technicians; and
any other provisions which the commissioner considers necessary
to assure adequate health and safety.
(b) The provisions of the state administrative procedures
act apply to all rules of the bureau pursuant to this article.
§30-38-5. 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.
§30-38-6. Registration requirements; inspections by local or
regional boards of health; permit fees.
(a) On or after the first day of July, one thousand nine
hundred ninety-nine, 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,
request an inspection of the facility, and obtain an operating
permit before engaging in the business of body piercing.
(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 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.
(d) 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.
§30-38-7. Violations and penalties.
(a) 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.
(b) 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.
(c) 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.