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States' Laws and Regulations Related to Body Art

posted on Tue, Jun 7 2016 11:04 am by The Network

A county health department in the process of updating its regulations on body art ― piercings, tattoos, scarification ― contacted the Network for information about regulations in other jurisdictions that define, prohibit, or allow for more unusual forms of body art such as tongue bifurcation (in which the tongue is permanently altered by cutting it centrally from its tip), suspension (hoisting a person into the air via body piercings), and subdermal implants (the insertion of foreign objects under the skin to achieve artistic effects).
The Network provided a number of resources on laws and regulations related to body art:
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s map of state tattooing and piercing regulations. Though this map appears to have been prepared with a focus on reducing exposure to blood borne pathogens, it may help easily locate laws in each state relative to body art.


  • The National Conference of State Legislatures has compiled a list of state body art laws with very brief descriptions. This list does not include links, so it may be best used in conjunction with the CDC’s map. 





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