H. B. 4012
(By Delegate Linch)
[Passed March 11, 2000; in effect ninety days from passage.]
AN ACT to amend chapter sixteen of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding
thereto a new article, designated article thirty-seven,
relating to regulating the body piercing studio business;
definitions; requiring registration of body piercing
studios; requiring inspection of body piercing studios by
local boards of health; requiring operating permits; power
of local board of health to order studio to close;
legislative rules; general physical requirements; record
keeping; written notification of risks and minimum age
requirements; body piercing procedures; permitting
requirements; fees; limitations and prohibitions of certain
procedures; report to the Legislature on permanent body
alteration activities; and establishing fines and criminal
penalties for certain violations.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That chapter sixteen 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-seven, to
read as follows:
ARTICLE 37. BODY PIERCING STUDIO BUSINESS.
§16-37-1. Short title.
This article is known as the "Body Piercing Studio Act."
(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) "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
board of health.
(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 department of health and human
resources regarding the disposal of medical wastes.
(g) "Standard precautions" means that all blood and body
fluids are treated so as to contain all blood-borne pathogens and
all proper precautions are taken to prevent the spread of any
(h) "Technician" means an individual who engages in the
practice of body piercing.
§16-37-3. Registration requirements; inspections by local boards
of health; posting of permit; power of local board
of health to order studio to close.
(a) On or after the first day of July, two thousand one, any
body piercing studio in West Virginia shall obtain a West
Virginia business registration certificate and shall register
with the local 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 board of health shall conduct annual
inspections of body piercing studios to determine compliance with
(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, which 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,
or the rules promulgated hereunder, 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.
(e) Nothing in this article may be construed as prohibiting
any health care provider licensed under chapter thirty of this
code from performing any action within the scope of his or her
practice, or as restricting the lawful practice of medicine or
surgery in this state.
§16-37-4. Rules to be proposed by the department of health and
(a) On or before the first day of July, two thousand, the
department of health and human resources shall propose rules for
legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article
three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, which rules shall
provide at a minimum:
(1) General physical requirements for facilities and
equipment, including requirements for adequate ventilation and lighting;
(2) Record keeping requirements and forms;
(3) Written notification of the risks of body piercing
procedures and minimum age requirements;
(4) Body piercing procedures, including, but not limited to,
safety and sterilization procedures; the use of antimicrobial
solutions, needles, single use instruments and other instruments;
the exercise of standard precautions; and instructions on the
care of the skin after body piercing procedures;
(5) Permitting requirements for operators and technicians,
including fees for permits and renewals of permits sufficient to
cover the costs of inspecting facilities and administering this
(6) For the disposal of waste in compliance with the rules
of the department of health and human resources regarding the
disposal of medical wastes.
(b) The rules required by this section may also include
provisions on training or educational requirements or materials;
health screenings for technicians; and any other provisions
considered necessary to protect the public or assure adequate
health and safety.
(c) The rules may also include limitations or prohibitions
on the performance of certain procedures, including, but not
limited to, procedures referred to as cutting, branding and scarification, which are identified as posing a risk to the
public health and safety.
(d) Before the first day of December, two thousand, the
department shall report to the Legislature on permanent body
alteration activities, including, but not limited to, procedures
referred to as cutting, branding and scarification, and identify
those activities that pose a risk to the public health and
safety, and report its recommendations for legislation.
§16-37-5. 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 board of health, or who fails to request
an inspection pursuant to section three 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.