Photo by Edgar Hoill.
Washington D.C.'s Health Department is at it again with ludicrous proposals to regulate tattooing.
As we wrote about last September, the DC Health Department first proposed a 24-Hour waiting period to get tattooed. Thankfully, that proposal was abandoned for common sense. However, their second proposed rule making -- which can be downloaded here -- is also littered inconsistencies and even issues that aren't even based in reality.
For example, Section 301.2 of the proposal states, "All body artists shall use hollow needles, and equipment that is specifically manufactured for performing body art procedures in accordance with manufacturer's instructions."
Hollow tattoo needles?
Matt Jessup, aka Fatty of Fatty's Tattoos & Piercings, pointed out the ridiculousness of the proposed regs to The Washington Post:
They're requiring us to do things that don't exist," said Fatty, nee Matt Jessup, who pointed to a requirement that "[a]ll body artists shall use hollow needles." Hollow needles are used for piercings, he said, but there is no such thing in the tattoo world.A petition has been posted to Change.org in which Tim Corun of Jinx Proof Tattoos offers the following sample language to send in support of abandoning the second proposal:
To: The DC Department of health and the Mayor of Washington DC, Vincent GrayYou can also share the petition on Facebook.
It seems like the DC Health Department is not going to give up its fight to put tight restraints on tattooing, which are not only detrimental to the industry but to tattoo collectors. Especially in a town like DC, it could be wise for the DC Coalition of Professional Body Artists to bring in a lobbyist or some outside help in this battle.
Last week, there was some buzz in Washington, DC over House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi hanging at Tattoo Paradise. Turns out it was for a quick cameo in this video (below) filmed for the White House Correspondents' Dinner in which Vice President Joe Biden takes faux-VP Julia Louis-Dreyfus out for a wild night, including a trip to Tattoo Paradise.
The tattoo scene starts at 4:35 in this 7-minute vid but it's a cute watch overall if you haven't seen it yet.
On Friday, Washington D.C.'s Health Department released a 66-page notice of new proposed regulations governing "body artists and body art establishments," which has caused a huge buzz -- and rightfully so -- because of some ridiculous provisions thrown into the mix.
One such proposal is the 24-hour waiting period to get a tattoo. As reported in the Washington Post, regulations governing tattoos and piercings were passed by the D.C. Council last year. D.C. Council member Yvette M. Alexander introduced the body art bill when she discovered that D.C. was one of the few places that did not regulate the industry. Naturally, many professional tattooers support reasonable regulation to maintain health and hygiene standards; however, within these new proposed regulations are "moral" not health protections, which could, in fact, subvert the whole purpose of having any regulation at all.
As Paul Roe of British Ink told the Washington Post: "Simple regulation is effective regulation. Overregulation will kill the profession and drive it underground and make it less safe for everybody." Paul also noted in the Needles & Sins FB page: "D.C. released these with no input from the industry, just unqualified council and health dept committee patchwork regulations."
The 24-hour waiting period proposed was inspired by rules passed in two Wisconsin municipalities, but it has not passed in big cities like D.C. One reason is that it would be an incredible drain on city resources to actually enforce. Will city health officials become tattoo regret police? Perhaps they should also hang out at bars at 1am and help prevent other regrettable decisions, like hooking up with the guy in the Nickleback t-shirt.
The ridiculousness is not lost on many. Tons of media outlets have decried the waiting period and even the Post article notes that the spokesman for Mayor Vincent Gray said that "the Mayor has 'serious doubts about the regulations as proposed' and will consider the comments received before issuing final regulations."
The comments are a good way to take action to ensure that provisions like the waiting period are stricken from the rules that get adopted. There's a 30-day period for commenting, which began Friday. You can submit your arguments to Angli Black at (202) 442-5977 or email Angli.Black@dc.gov.