(Toledo News Now) - The Ohio Department of Health is cracking down on shops behind body modifications with new rules for tattooing and piercing.
It's all an effort to make the overall practice safer for artist's customers.
The slew of new regulations took effect on September 1. The overhaul by the DOH has been in the works for some time.
Under the new rules, piercing guns can only be used on lower earlobes.
Terry Stachowiak of Needle Masters in Toledo says piercing guns can be very dirty and the spread of Hepatitis becomes elevated when using them on cartilage.
Another rule change restricts minors from getting certain areas of their bodies pierced, even if their parents give permission.
All body art businesses, including most mall kiosks, must have a disease control and infection plan in place. Finally, ink use must be heavily documented to prevent the spread of blood-borne pathogens and bacteria.
"It makes it a lot easier for us to actually mandate people getting things done properly," said Stachowiak. "Malls don't have to regulate first aid, CPR, blood-borne pathogens. That way you don't have anyone getting sick off of it."
Because of the new mandates, public health inspectors will be retrained on proper inspections.