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Tattoo

Important Information: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an alert regarding contaminated inks and have recommended the use of sterile water only for the dilution of inks. For more information, click here.

 General Information

Assembly Bill 300, the Safe Body Art Act, was signed into law by Governor Brown on October 9, 2011. This law provides a uniform set of standards for the body art industry to protect the health and safety of body art practitioners, their customers and the public. Body art is an invasive process that includes piercing, tattooing, application of permanent cosmetics, and branding. These practices present the potential for spreading blood-borne diseases, such as Hepatitis B.

The Food and Housing Division (FHD) of the Department of Environmental Health is the local agency charged with implementing the Safe Body Art Act in the County of San Diego. Effective on July 1, 2012, the law requires that body art be performed in a safe and sanitary manner to prevent the potential for spreading blood-borne diseases; it establishes specific requirements for body art facilities and practitioners, as well as limited requirements for mechanical piercing. Click here to view a copy of the new law.

Body art practitioners are those who perform tattoo, piercing, permanent cosmetics and branding on a person’s skin. They are required to received annual training in bloodborne pathogen standards annually to ensure they know how to prevent transmission of blood-borne diseases; they also must perform these procedures in approved Body Art facilities that have a valid health permit and are inspected by Environmental Health Specialists of the Department of Environmental Health.

AB 300 Safe Body Act Overview has additional information.

AB 1168 Safe Body Act Overview has additional information.

In June/July 2012, FHD provided informational workshops about the new law. Click here to view the presentation.

The County of San Diego is proud to present the Emmy Award winning Safety Stickler documentary featuring local owner/artist Mike Martin, who relates his experience promoting safety in the field of body art. In this six minute video you will also see how the County of San Diego works with local tattoo artists to protect the health of everyone that gets "inked!"

Safe Body Art Act Resources

All practitioners will need to annually register with the Department of Environmental Health and complete Bloodborne Pathogen Training.

Click here for Registration Forms and Applications

RENEWAL PRACTITIONER CHECKLIST (you will need to bring):

  •   Application for Practitioner Registration PDF
  •   Bloodborne Pathogens Training Certificate (Click here for Approved Trainer List)
  •   Hepatitis B Vaccination Status (one of the following): Hep B Vaccination
      Record, Declination Form or Antibody Laboratory Results
  •   Photo ID (you must be at least 18 years old)

NEW PRACTIONER CHECKLIST (you will need to bring):

  •   Application for Practitioner Registration PDF
  •   Bloodborne Pathogens Training Certificate (Click here for Approved Trainer List)
  •   Hepatitis B Vaccination Status (one of the following): Hep B Vaccination
      Record, Declination Form or Antibody Laboratory Results
  •   Photo ID (you must be at least 18 years old)