Pierce County, WI
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of Pierce County 12-21-1999 by Ord. No. 99-15. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Public health nuisances and human health hazards — See Ch. 180.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to tattoo and body piercing facilities, tattoo artists and body piercers and the practice of tattooing and body piercing.
As used in this chapter, unless otherwise specifically indicated, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
APPROVED
Acceptable to the Health Department based upon its determination of conformance to necessary public health practices.
BIOHAZARD SHARPS CONTAINER
A container used to dispose of medical equipment or clinical laboratory articles that may cause punctures or cuts, such as hypodermic needles, syringes with attached needles, lancets and razor blades.
BOARD OF HEALTH
The Pierce County Health Department Board of Health.
BODY PIERCER
A person who performs body piercing on another person at that person's request.
BODY PIERCING
Perforating any human body part or tissue, except an ear, and placing a foreign object in the perforation to prevent the perforation from closing.
BODY PIERCING FACILITY
The premises where a body piercer performs body piercing.
CLEANING
The removal of foreign material from objects, normally accomplished with detergent, water and mechanical action.
COMBINED TATTOO AND BODY PIERCING FACILITY
A location where both tattooing and body piercing are practiced.
DISINFECTANT
A chemical that is capable of destroying disease-causing organisms on inanimate objects, with the exception of bacterial spores.
DUPLICATE PERMIT FEE
A fee for the replacement of an original permit.
HEALTH DEPARTMENT
The Pierce County Health Department.
HEALTH OFFICER
The Director of the Pierce County Health Department or an authorized agent of the Health Officer.
PATRON
A person receiving a tattoo or body piercing.
PREINSPECTION FEE
A fee for consultative services offered within a six-month period from the date of permit application to persons intending to operate a new tattoo or body piercing facility or a combined tattoo or body piercing facility or to a person intending to be the new operator of an existing tattoo or body piercing facility or combined tattoo and body piercing facility.
REINSPECTION FEE
A fee for the third and subsequent inspections needed to address compliance issues with the statutes and administrative codes that govern their operation.
STERILIZE
Submission to the steam pressure (autoclave) method with at least 15 pounds of pressure per square inch at 250º F. for at least 30 minutes, such that all forms of microbial life, including spores, viruses, bacteria and fungi, are destroyed.
TATTOO ARTIST
Any person engaged in the practice of tattooing.
TATTOO FACILITY
The location where tattooing is practiced.
TATTOOING
Includes any method of placing or removing designs, letters, scrolls, figures, symbols or any other marks upon or under the skin of a person with ink or color by the aid of needles or instruments.
TEMPORARY COMBINED FACILITY
A single building, structure, area or location where both tattooing and body piercing are performed for a maximum of seven days per event.
TEMPORARY FACILITY
A single building, structure, area or location where a tattoo artist or body piercer performs tattooing or body piercing for a maximum of seven days per event.
The provisions of this chapter shall be administered by or under the direction of the Health Officer, who, in person or by duly authorized representative, shall have the right to enter, at reasonable hours, upon premises affected by this chapter to inspect the premises, examine and copy relevant documents and records or obtain photographic or other evidence needed to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
No person shall engage in the practice of tattooing or body piercing or shall carry on the business of operating a tattoo or body piercing facility or a combined tattoo and body piercing facility within Pierce County unless he/she has a valid permit issued by the Health Department for each and every such place of business.
A. 
Application. Application for permits shall be made in writing to the Health Department on forms provided by the Health Department, stating the name and address of the applicant and the name and address of the proposed tattoo or body piercing facility or a combined tattoo and body piercing facility, together with such other information as may be required.
B. 
Fee. Fees for the issuance of permits, the making of investigations, inspections, training and technical assistance to establishments covered pursuant to this chapter, plus the costs required to be paid to the state for each permit issued, are hereby established pursuant to this chapter, subject to amendment, from time to time, upon recommendation of the Pierce County Health Officer and approval of the Board of Health. Separate preinspection fees are hereby established with respect to new establishments or existing establishments that have been transferred to a new owner. Reinspection fees are hereby established to address compliance issues with statutes and administrative codes.
[Amended 4-17-2001 by Ord. No. 00-15]
C. 
Permit. Permits shall be posted in a conspicuous place in the tattoo or body piercing facility. Permits are not transferable and, except for temporary tattoo or body piercing facility permits, shall expire on June 30 following their issuance.
(1) 
Tattoo or body piercing facility permit. A separate permit is required for each tattoo or body piercing facility. A permit shall not be transferable to a location other than the one for which it was issued. Such permits shall expire on June 30 following their issuance.
[Amended 4-16-2002 by Ord. No. 02-02]
(2) 
Combined tattoo and body piercing facility. A separate permit is required for a combined tattoo and body piercing facility. A permit shall not be transferable to a location other than the one for which it is issued. Such permits shall expire on June 30 following their issuance.
[Amended 4-16-2002 by Ord. No. 02-02]
(3) 
Tattoo artist or body piercer permit. A separate permit is required for each tattoo artist or body piercer engaged in the practice of tattooing or body piercing. Such permits shall expire on June 30 following their issuance.
[Amended 4-16-2002 by Ord. No. 02-02]
(4) 
Temporary facility or temporary combined facility permit. A separate permit is required for each temporary facility or temporary combined facility. Such permit is not transferable to a location other than the one for which it was issued and shall expire seven days after the date it was issued.
D. 
Permit suspension and revocation. Such permit may be temporarily suspended by the Health Department for violations that present an immediate health hazard or may be revoked after repeated violations of this chapter. Any person affected by such suspension or revocation shall have the right to appeal.
A. 
Premises.
(1) 
Floor surfaces in the room in which the tattoo or body piercing is administered shall be impervious, smooth and washable. Carpeting is not allowed.
(2) 
A hand-washing facility supplied with hot and cold water under pressure, soap and single-service towels shall be conveniently located in the tattoo or body piercing area, in addition to what is provided in the toilet room.
(3) 
Approved waste containers with nonabsorbent, durable plastic liners shall be used for all tissues, towels, gauze pads and other similar items used on the patron. Any infectious waste shall be disposed of as required by Wisconsin Administrative Code Chapter NR 526.
(4) 
Adequate cabinets with washable surfaces shall be provided for exclusive storage of instruments, dyes, pigments, stencils and other equipment used in the practice of tattooing or body piercing.
(5) 
All tattoo or body piercing facilities shall be maintained in a clean, sanitary condition and in good repair.
(6) 
The tattoo or body piercing facility application area where the procedure is performed shall be adequately lighted to a minimum of 50 footcandles.
(7) 
Tattooing or body piercing shall be performed by a tattoo artist or body piercer in a tattoo or body piercing facility completely separated from any living quarters by a solid permanent partition. A solid door leading to the living quarters is permitted, provided it remains closed during business hours. A direct outside entrance to the tattoo or body piercing facility shall be provided.
B. 
Equipment.
(1) 
All tattoo or body piercing facilities shall be equipped with an autoclave which is in good working order and which is manufactured with temperature and pressure gauges marked and visible on the outside of the unit.
(a) 
As an alternative to requiring a pressure gauge, spore strips or suspensions shall be used at least weekly and results recorded for performance checks of the autoclave.
(b) 
A record must be maintained for each sterilization cycle, including date, sterilizing temperature, length of time at sterilizing temperature and what was autoclaved.
(c) 
A minimum of one time sterile indicator tape shall be included with each load sterilized and the results recorded, and the autoclave shall be spore tested at least monthly. Spore kill effectiveness testing shall be conducted by an independent laboratory.
(d) 
The autoclave shall be of sufficient size and shall be operated in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations and in a manner to prevent crowding of the chamber.
(e) 
The autoclave chamber temperature shall be checked at least weekly with a maximum registering thermometer and results recorded.
(2) 
All instruments used in the practice of tattooing or body piercing shall be sterilized before use.
(a) 
All instruments shall be thoroughly cleaned before being sterilized. This may be done with an ultrasonic cleaner or with a probe, needles or brush able to enter the smallest opening of the instrument The cleaning of instruments shall be done with detergent and hot water or other methods approved by the Health Officer.
(b) 
All instruments used in the tattoo or body piercing procedure shall be stored in a clean, dry manner after sterilization and handled in a way that will prevent recontamination.
(3) 
Needles. Needles shall be disposable, sterile, single-patron use. Used needles shall be discarded in an approved biohazard sharps container.
(4) 
Stencils.
(a) 
Plastic stencils shall be thoroughly cleaned with soap and water and sanitized after each use. They are to be sanitized by immersion for 30 minutes in a chlorine disinfectant solution prepared by mixing one tablespoon of household bleach containing 5% chlorine with one pint of water and allowed to air dry.
(b) 
Prior to use, each pre-cleaned and sanitized plastic stencil shall be rinsed in a seventy-percent isopropyl alcohol solution and allowed to air dry.
(c) 
Paper stencils shall only be used once. New paper stencils shall be used for every individual.
(5) 
Dyes and inks.
(a) 
The licensee shall submit in writing to the Health Officer the source of all dyes and inks used in administering tattoos.
(b) 
Nontoxic dyes or inks shall be taken only from effectively covered squeeze bottle containers that are easy to clean and disinfect.
(c) 
Immediately before applying a tattoo, the dye to be used for the tattoo shall be squeezed from the dye bottles into disposable cups. The disposable cups shall be stored and handled in a manner to prevent them from becoming contaminated. Upon completion of the tattoo, the cups and dye shall be discarded. Any dye in which the needles were dipped shall not be used on another person.
C. 
Skin preparation.
(1) 
Aseptic technique must be utilized in the practice of tattooing or body piercing.
(a) 
Each tattoo artist or body piercer is required to scrub his or her hands with liquid soap (i.e., tincture of green soap) and water thoroughly before commencing tattooing or body piercing on the patron.
(b) 
If the patron's skin is to be shaved, the skin shall be washed with a cleansing antisepticlantimicrobial skin cleanser before shaving. A safety razor shall be used. A new blade shall be used for each patron. The blade shall be discarded after each use. Reusable blade holders shall be sterilized after each use. If disposable blade holders are used, they may be used on one patron only and then must be discarded in an approved biohazard sharps container.
(c) 
The skin area to be tattooed or body pierced shall first be cleansed with soap and water and then prepared with antiseptic such as 70% alcohol (and allowed to air dry) or other method approved by the Health Officer.
(d) 
Single-use gauze pads or towels shall be used in the skin cleaning and preparation.
(e) 
Petroleum jelly applied on the tattoo area shall be dispensed from a single-use disposable container or with a sterile tongue blade or sterile applicator stick which shall be discarded after each use.
(2) 
After the tattooing or body piercing is completed, only antibacterial ointments shall be applied on the tattoo or body piercing, and if a dressing is to be used it must be a sterile, nonsticking dressing.
(3) 
Persons tattooed or body pierced shall be provided with printed instructions regarding tattoo or body pierce care during the healing process.
D. 
General supplies.
(1) 
All tattoo or body piercing facilities shall have clean, laundered towels, washcloths or disposable paper towels in sufficient quantity for the sanitary operation of the practice of tattooing or body piercing.
(2) 
A clean towel and washcloth shall be used for each patron.
(3) 
Clean towels and washcloths shall be stored in a closed, dust-proof container.
(4) 
Soiled towels and washcloths shall be stored in an approved covered container.
(5) 
All tattoo artists or body piercers shall wear clean, washable garments.
(6) 
The operating table, chair and supply tables shall be constructed of a material capable of being easily and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
E. 
Tattoo artist and body piercer requirements.
(1) 
The tattoo artist or body piercer shall be free of infectious or contagious disease that may be transmitted by the practice of tattooing or body piercing.
(2) 
Tattoo artists or body piercers with open sores or skin infections on the hand or hands shall not be permitted to engage in the practice of tattooing or body piercing. The tattoo artist or body piercer shall wear single-use disposable latex or vinyl gloves during tattooing or body piercing.
(3) 
Smoking or consumption of food or drink shall not be allowed in the immediate vicinity where the tattoo or body piercing procedure is being performed.
(4) 
The tattoo artist or body piercer shall wash his/her hands thoroughly with liquid soap and water before any skin preparation, tattooing or body piercing and after removing gloves. The hands shall be dried with individual single-service towels.
(5) 
No person shall be present in the immediate vicinity of the area in which tattoos or body piercing are administered unless authorized by the tattoo artist or body piercer.
(6) 
No animals, except guide dogs, are allowed in the tattoo or body piercing facility.
(7) 
The work areas, such as countertops, must be cleaned and wiped with a disinfectant between patrons.
(8) 
Physical examination of tattoo artists or body piercers. The Health Officer shall have the power to require any tattoo artist or body piercer to submit to a practicing physician for a physical examination whenever the tattoo artist or body piercer is reasonably suspected of having any infectious or contagious disease that may be transmitted by the practice of tattooing or body piercing. The expense of the physical examination shall be the responsibility of the tattoo artist or body piercer. All medical records shall remain confidential, except as otherwise provided by law. Failure to obtain the required physical examination shall result in suspension or revocation of the tattoo artist or body piercing permit.
A. 
Consent. A tattooist or body piercer may not tattoo or body pierce a patron without first obtaining the signed, informed consent of the person on a form approved by the Health Department.
B. 
Minors.
(1) 
No person under 16 years of age may be body pierced.
(2) 
No person age 16 or 17 may be body pierced unless an informed consent form has been signed by his or her parent or legal guardian in the presence of the operator.
(3) 
No person under 18 years of age may be tattooed except by a physician in the course of the physician's professional practice, as permitted under § 948.70(3), Wis. Stats.
(4) 
A body-piercing establishment shall post a notice in a conspicuous place in the establishment stating that it is illegal to body pierce a person under the age of 18 without the signed, informed consent of that person's parent or legal guardian.
(5) 
A tattoo establishment shall post a sign in a conspicuous place in the establishment stating that no person under the age of 18 may be tattooed.
C. 
Barriers to procedure.
(1) 
A tattooist or body piercer may not tattoo or body pierce any of the following:
(a) 
A person who appears to be under the influence of alcohol or a mind-altering drug.
(b) 
A person suspected of having jaundice or hepatitis or who has recovered from jaundice or hepatitis within the preceding six months.
(2) 
Tattooing or body piercing shall not be performed on any person in an area with an evident skin infection or other skin disease or condition, including but not limited to rashes, pimples, boils or infections.
The requirements contained in this chapter shall apply to temporary facilities and temporary combined facilities, except where superseded by the following:
A. 
Permit.
(1) 
No temporary facility or temporary combined facility may be operated before being granted a permit by the Health Department.
(2) 
No permit may be issued without prior inspection.
(3) 
The permit issued by the County Health Department shall be conspicuously displayed in the temporary facility or temporary combined facility.
(4) 
A tattoo artist or body piercer operating a temporary facility or combined temporary facility found to be an habitual violator of this chapter by the County Health Department may be denied a permit to operate or may have the permit revoked.
B. 
Premises.
(1) 
Floors shall be maintained in a sanitary condition. Dirt floors shall be covered by an approved material which will provide protection from dust.
(2) 
Hand washing.
(a) 
When water is available under pressure, hand-washing facilities with approved liquid waste disposal shall be reasonably accessible to the tattoo artist or body piercer.
(b) 
When water is not available under pressure, a minimum of two basins or a two-compartment basin shall be provided.
(3) 
Water in sufficient quantity shall be hauled and stored in containers that are easily cleanable, provided with tight-fitting covers and maintained in a clean and sanitary condition.
(4) 
Liquid soap and single-service towels for hand washing and drying hands shall be provided.
C. 
Equipment. If an approved autoclave/sterilizer is not provided, only pre-sterilized instruments that are pre-wrapped with time sterile indicator tape attached and stored in a clean, dry manner may be used in the practice of tattooing or body piercing.
Records shall be kept by each permittee of all tattoos and body piercings administered, including the name of the patron, date, general identification of the tattoo or body piercing and tattoo artist's or body piercer's name. Records shall be kept on the premises of the tattoo or body piercing facility where tattoos or body piercings are administered. These records shall be available for inspection for a period of three years after the date the tattoo or body piercing is completed.
Appeals from Health Department orders shall be pursuant to Health Department policy adopted in conformance with the procedures for conducting appeals enumerated in Chapter 68, Wis. Stats. Copies of the appeal procedures shall be available at the Health Department. An appeal does not eliminate the Department's right to seek court intervention in the form of injunctive or other relief against continuing violations.
Any person who violates or refuses to comply with any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a forfeiture of not less than $50 nor more than $500 for each offense. Each day a violation exists or continues shall be considered a separate offense.
[Amended 6-22-2010 by Ord. No. 10-01]
The applicable regulations, rules and laws set forth in §§ 252.23, 252.24 and 252.245, Wis. Stats., and Chapter DHS 173 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code are incorporated in this chapter by reference, and they shall be construed, read and interpreted as though fully set forth herein. The express provisions of this chapter shall control where more restrictive.