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         June 5, 2001


(Mineola, NY) Legislation sponsored by Legislator Vincent Muscarella (R-West Hempstead) that licenses tattoo parlors and requires parental consent if a child under the age of 18 wants to have their body pierced or branding was unanimously approved by the Nassau County Legislature. Legislators Becker, Ciotti, Dunne, Gonsalves, Mangano, Nicolello, Pontillo and Schmitt all co-sponsored the legislation.

"Residents have the right to know that the facility that is being used is properly licensed by the Health Department," said Legislator Muscarella. "This legislation requires tattoo parlors to obtain a license from the Department of Health before doing business in our County.

The legislation requires the following:
  • Children under the age of 18 would be required to have notarized signed permission from a parent to have their body pierced or branded.
  • Requires tattoo parlors to be licensed by the Health Department.
  • Merchants found to violate the law could face fines up to $3000 if more than one violation.
Problems related to body piercing include:
  • Exposure to Hepatitis B and
  • Tetanus
  • Chronic Infection
  • Scarring
  • Skin allergies to the jewelry that is used
  • Abscesses or Boils
  • Permanent holes in your nostril or eyebrow
"Parents have expressed to me their concerns that their child without their consent has their body pierced or branded. They are rightfully worried about communicable diseases such as Hepatitis B or C being transmitted to their child through unclean devices. I share those sentiments and that is why I sponsored this legislation," concluded Legislator Muscarella.

The legislation if signed by the County Executive would become effective January 1, 2002. This time period will give the Department of Health the opportunity to develop licensing standards and allow the industry the opportunity to comply with them.

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