Code Section Group

Health and Safety Code - HSC


  ( Division 104 added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 6. )


  ( Part 15 added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 6. )

CHAPTER 7. Body Art [119300 - 119328]

  ( Chapter 7 repealed and added by Stats. 2011, Ch. 638, Sec. 2. )

ARTICLE 1. General Provisions [119300 - 119301]
  ( Article 1 added by Stats. 2011, Ch. 638, Sec. 2. )


(a) This chapter shall be known, and may be cited, as the Safe Body Art Act.

(b) The purpose of this chapter is to provide minimum statewide standards for the regulation of persons engaged in the business or performance of tattooing, body piercing, branding, and the application of permanent cosmetics in California. These requirements are intended to protect both the practitioner and the client from transmission of infectious diseases through the application of proper body art procedures and the control of cross-contamination of instruments and supplies.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 555, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2014.)


For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:

(a) “Antiseptic solution” means a liquid or semiliquid substance that is approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration to reduce the number of microorganisms present on the skin and on mucosal surfaces.

(b) “Bloodborne pathogen” means a disease-causing microorganism that, when present in the blood, can be transmitted to humans, including, but not limited to, hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

(c) “Body art” means body piercing, tattooing, branding, or application of permanent cosmetics.

(d) “Body art facility” means the specified building, section of a building, or vehicle in which a practitioner performs, or demonstrates for the purpose of instruction, body art, including reception areas, the procedure area, and the decontamination and sterilization area. “Body art facility” does not include a facility that only pierces the ear with a disposable, single-use, presterilized clasp and stud or solid needle that is applied using a mechanical device to force the needle or stud through the ear.

(e) “Body piercing” means the creation of an opening in a human body for the purpose of inserting jewelry or other decoration. “Body piercing” includes, but is not limited to, the piercing of an ear, including the tragus, lip, tongue, nose, or eyebrow. “Body piercing” does not include the piercing of an ear, except for the tragus, with a disposable, single-use, presterilized stud and clasp or solid needle that is applied using a mechanical device to force the needle or stud through the ear.

(f) “Branding” means the process in which a mark or marks are burned into human skin tissue with a hot iron or other instrument, with the intention of leaving a permanent scar.

(g) “Client” means an individual upon whom a practitioner performs body art.

(h) “Decontamination and sterilization area” means a room, or specific section of a room, that is set apart and used only to decontaminate and sterilize instruments.

(i) “Department” means the State Department of Public Health.

(j) “Decontamination” means the use of physical or chemical means to remove, inactivate, or destroy bloodborne pathogens on a surface or item to the point where the pathogens are no longer capable of transmitting infectious particles and the surface or item is rendered safe for handling, use, or disposal.

(k) “Disinfectant” means a product that is registered by the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Pesticide Regulation, as indicated on the label, to reduce or eliminate the presence of disease-causing microorganisms, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) for use in decontaminating work surfaces.

(l) “Enforcement officer” means all local health officers, directors of environmental health, and duly authorized registered environmental health specialists and environmental health specialist trainees.

(m) “Hand hygiene” means either of the following:

(1) Thoroughly washing all surfaces of the hands and under the fingernails with soap and warm water.

(2) In the absence of contamination with blood or other bodily fluids, or obvious soiling, applying an antiseptic solution to all the surfaces of the hands and underneath the fingernails.

(n) “Instrument” means a nonmedical application device used in performing body art, including, but not limited to, needles, needle bars, needle tubes, forceps, hemostats, tweezers, razors, or razor blades.

(o) “Local enforcement agency” means the local health agency of the county, city, or city and county. In jurisdictions where the local health agency and the environmental health agency are separate departments, the jurisdiction shall specify which entity will be the local enforcement agency for purposes of this chapter.

(p) “Mucosal surface” means the moisture-secreting membrane lining of all body cavities or passages that communicates with the exterior, including, but not limited to, the nose, mouth, vagina, and urethra.

(q) “Owner” means either of the following:

(1) The person or persons whose name or names appear on the health permit, business license, property deed, or rental agreement of the body art facility.

(2) A person, acting as a principal of a corporation or partnership, who employs practitioners to perform body art or other activity regulated by this chapter.

(r) “Permanent cosmetics” means the application of pigments in human skin tissue for the purpose of permanently changing the color or other appearance of the skin. This includes, but is not limited to, permanent eyeliner, eyebrow, or lip color.

(s) “Potable water” means water that complies with the standards for transient noncommunity water systems pursuant to the California Safe Drinking Water Act (Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 116275) of Part 12).

(t) “Practitioner” means a person who performs body art on a client.

(u) “Procedure area” means a room, or designated portion of a room, that is set apart and only used to perform body art.

(v) “Procedure site” means the area or location on the human body selected for the placement of body art.

(w) “Sharps waste” means a device or instrument that has acute, rigid corners, edges, or protuberances capable of cutting or piercing the skin, that has been used in the performance of body art, and has not been disinfected or sterilized following use, including, but not limited to, any of the following:

(1) Tattooing needles and needle bars.

(2) Disposable piercing needles.

(3) Disposable razors.

(x) “Sharps waste container” means a rigid, puncture resistant, commercial container that, when sealed, is leak resistant and cannot be reopened without great difficulty. Sharps containers shall be designed and constructed specifically for the proper containment of sharps waste.

(y) “Sponsor” means an individual or business entity, including an event coordinator or manager, responsible for the organization of a convention, trade show, or other temporary event that includes a body art demonstration booth. A sponsor may also be a body art practitioner.

(z) “Sterilization” means the complete destruction of all microbial life forms, including spores.

(aa) “Tattooing” means the insertion of pigment in human skin tissue by piercing with a needle.

(ab) “Vehicle” means a vehicle that has been fitted or designed to perform body art.

(ac) “Warm water” means water that is supplied through a mixing valve or combination faucet at a temperature of at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

(ad) “Workstation” means the area within a procedure area where a practitioner performs body art. The workstation includes, but is not limited to, the client chair or table, counter, mayo stand, instrument tray, storage drawer, and practitioner’s chair.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 555, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2014.)

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