Body Art

NEHA Body Art Model Code

Just over twenty years ago, environmental health professionals and industry experts developed the first NEHA Body Art Model Code (BAMC). In the time since the original code was released, body art has become much more accepted, diverse, and popular. 

In Spring of 2016, NEHA began working with subject matter experts and national partners to develop an updated Body Art Model Code (BAMC). The updated BAMC was created with input from environmental health and industry professionals, and addresses the ways body art impacts public health, both old and new. The BAMC is available for local and state agencies and other organizations to use as a resource to update their own body art codes and protect public health.   

NEHA Body Art Model Code: Updated October 22, 2019

View NEHA Body Art Model Code (PDF)


NEHA Body Art Committee  

Laurel Arrigona 
Regulatory, Ceutical Labs, Inc. 
AFDO Body Art Committee Chair 
http://www.afdo.org/body-art-committee
Body Art Education Alliance Chair 

Kate Ciampi Shergold 
Executive Director 
Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals 
https://www.spcp.org

Cathy Montie  
Body Art Training Company  
OSHA Authorized Industry Specific Trainer 
https://cathymontie.com/

Michael Crea, M.S. 
Executive Director, Florida Environmental Health Association 
Body Piercer & Body Art Trainer 

Ken Coleman Stevenson II 
VP Regulatory, Ceutical Labs 
AFDO Body Art Committee Chair 
Body Art Education Alliance Chair 

Girvin Liggans, Ph.D., REHS, DAAS 
Technical Lead, Retail Food Policy 
U.S. Food and Drug Administration 

Matt Bavougian 
Onyx Piercing Studio - Owner / Senior Piercer
https://www.onyxpiercing.com/
Association of Professional Piercers (APP), Legislation and Regulatory Affairs Committee Chair
https://safepiercing.org/
Body Art Education Alliance, Co-Chair

John Misock  
US Food and Drug Administration, Retired 

Carolynn Balcar 
Environmental Consultant   
Florida Department of Health 
State Health Office 

Steve Joyner 
Association of Professional Piercers 
Legislation and Regulatory Affairs Chair 

Brian W Skellie 
Medical Liaison 
Association of Professional Piercers 
ASTM International Committee F04 Medical and Surgical Materials and Devices 
https://brianskellie.com/

John Johnson 
OSHA Authorized General Industry Trainer
Association of Professional Piercers 

Michelle E. Watkins, REHS    
Program Manager 
Division of Environmental Health and Protection 
St. Charles County Government — Department of Public Health 

Katherine Martinez, REHS 
Sanitarian 
Environmental Health Division  
Kent County Health Department 

 

EH Topics: 

Body Art

Body art is defined as body piercing, tattooing, branding, scarification, subdermal implants, tongue splitting, transdermal implants or the application of permanent cosmetics. Environmental health professionals play an important role in inspecting and regulating body art establishments where the practices of body art are performed.

The National Environmental Health Association advocates for and develops national standards, best practices, and resources that will enhance the abilities of environmental health professionals to ensure safe body art practices and protect public health. In 1999, NEHA developed the Body Art Model Code to identify best practices and body art inspection standards and is currently working on the second edition of the Code. NEHA established the Body Art Committee, comprised of regulatory and industry professionals, that is dedicated to developing resources and fostering improved body art practices.

Emerging Issues

Due to the low availability of body art-related resources for environmental health professionals, there is an opportunity to create meaningful resources and partnerships for environmental health and body art professionals.  Opportunities include:

  • increased advocacy for resources
  • development of trainings, guidelines, and best practices  
  • establishment of body art inspection standards
  • development of partnerships in the field

Newly Released - Updated Body Art Model Code

Since 2016, NEHA has been facilitating the revision of the 1999 Body Art Model Code (BAMC) with the Body Art Committee. The BAMC reflects best practices and body art inspection standards to ensure public health and safety in the field of body art.

 If you have any questions, please contact Christl Tate at ctate@neha.org

 

Learn more about the BAMC


Body Art Resources

NEHA resources include a focus on environmental health and body art.

View Body Art Resources

EH Topics: 

NEHA’s Policy Statement on Microblading

NEHA recommends that microblading and permanent cosmetic procedures be held to the same standards as other tattooing techniques as outlined in the forthcoming NEHA Body Art Model Code to ensure safe body art procedures and to protect public health. NEHA advocates for national, state, and local policies, regulations, research, and resources that will enhance the ability of environmental health professionals to ensure the practice of safe body art procedures.

NEHA’s Policy Statement on Ear Piercing Guns

NEHA recommends that ear piercing gun use be held to the same standards as other piercing techniques as outlined in the forthcoming NEHA Body Art Model Code to ensure safe body art procedures and to protect public health. NEHA advocates for national, state, and local policies, regulations, research, and resources that will enhance the ability of environmental health professionals to ensure the practice of safe body art procedures.

Webinar: Body Art and Environmental Health

This webinar occurred on January 18, 2018 at 12pm MDT. You can view the recording below.

This activity has been approved for 1 NEHA Continuing Education hour.

Agenda: 

  1. Katherine Sweeney, REHS, Sanitarian at Kent County, Michigan Health Department 
    Topic: Katherine will highlight how environmental health and body art fit together, the role of environmental health professionals in responding to illegal tattoo artists, microblading, and the importance of building relationships between regulators and body artists.  
  2. Cathy Montie, Bloodborne Pathogen Instructor at Cathy Montie Body Art Training Company and Owner of Absolute Tattoo, Piercing and Permanent Cosmetics.   
    Topic: Cathy will discuss potential bloodborne pathogens present in the body art environment, and what plans and preventive actions can be taken to prevent outbreaks.

View Body Art and Environmental Health Webinar 

EH Topics: 

Body Art and Partnerships

Together with the body art industry, FDA, AFDO and state and local regulators, NEHA is working to revise its Body Art Model Code (BAMC). The group is working to update the Code in a way that is reflective of current body art trends and procedures, as well as relevant and implementable to industry professionals.

Earlier this year, I accompanied a local environmental health specialist on a body art studio inspection. The tattoo shop had a very cool aesthetic, with exposed brick, art, and repurposed decorations on the walls; the tattoo artists were friendly and accommodating.