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Governor signs tattoo bill authored by Brandemuehl

Courier Press, Monday July 8, 1996

Gov. Thompson recently signed Assembly Bill 733 into law, according to the author, State Rep. David Brandemuehl (R-Fennimore). The new law gives the Dept. of Health and Family Services (DHFS) the authority to regulate tattooists, body piercers and their establishment.

“With the strong support of county health departments, especially Grant County Health Director Linda Adrian, we were able to convince the Governor of the need for this type of public health regulation,” said Brandemuehl. “Tattooists and body piercers themselves recognized the importance of state regulations and worked with us to make them a reality.”

The new law requires the DHFS to license, inspect and set minimum standards for tattooists, body piercers and their shops. Concerned local officials keep their authority to enact stricter ordinances than those the state develops. In addition, local health departments have the option of contracting for the right to license and inspect tattooing and body piercing establishments in their area, in much the same way they do for restaurants.

“Without a local ordinance, tattooists and body piercers have only been regulated by their self-imposed standards,” said Brandemuehl. “If the proper steps are not taken, contaminated needles could easily contribute to the spread of AIDS, syphilis or hepatitis B, which is on the rise among teenagers and young adults.”

“Since the state expects the medical profession to uphold certain standards in regard to the use of needles, it is only reasonable of others who also use needles in their practices,” said Bradenmuehl.

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