Body Art

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

Body Art Model Code - Coming Winter 2019

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.

The BAMC is undergoing review; we appreciate your support and look forward to the release of the new, updated Code! If you have any questions, please contact Solly Poprish at spoprish@neha.org.


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.