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February 11, 2011

For Immediate Release

RE: Washington State Tattoo, Permanent Cosmetics, Body Piercing, and Body Art Regulations

With the passage of regulations for the traditional tattoo, permanent cosmetic tattoo, body
piercing, and body art industries in 2009, experienced professional artists from across the state
have been working diligently with both the Washington State Department of Licensing and
Washington State Department of Health. For the first time in the history of this State, these
professions have had a forum to participate in the regulatory process. As is common when state
agencies are tasked with new responsibilities, the necessity for revisions to the original RCW has
become apparent.
During the rule-writing process, we have identified specific issues that need to be
addressed to properly protect public health and safety. Working with these state agencies, we
have drafted proposed revisions to improve the effectiveness of the new regulations. The
proposed revisions were carefully crafted to work within the original parameters and intent of the
RCW, while making improvements to the implementation of the new program. This language
passed WSDOH review uncontested and there is no additional fiscal impact upon already
burdened agency budgets or upon tax-paying citizens.
Artists have once again shouldered the burden of lobbying for these bills to improve the
regulation of our industries. In an attempt to meet this obligation with professional
responsibility, we have asked for the help of members in both parties in the Washington State
House of Representatives and Washington State Senate. Companion bills have been introduced
in both houses of the legislature. SB 5074 (Murray) and HB 1256 (Appleton) have both been
heard in committee.
Unfortunately, some concern has been raised over the issue of internships. These
provisions were intentionally left vague, as each of these industries is very different. We are of
the opinion that this is best defined in rule-writing to meet the needs of each industry. Sadly,
without this provision, these bills will do little for public health and safety. It is our hope that the
members of the Washington State Legislature will continue to work with us to move this issue
We are grateful to all the members of the legislature and these state agencies, for the
opportunity to express our professional input. We look forward to continuing positive and
constructive participation in the legislative and regulatory processes. It is our intent to provide a
solid foundation of guidelines that will serve to protect public health and safety.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Helen Piatt
Member of the WSDOL Advisory Board for Body Art, Body Piercing, and Tattooing