GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – State lawmakers are working to make sure people are safe if they get a body piercing.
A new bill working its way through the General Assembly would require county health departments to regulate those businesses.
North Carolina law currently requires businesses that do body art to have permits and inspections for tattooing, but that’s not the case for piercings.
Many people who ask for piercings assume they’re going somewhere clean with well-trained workers.
“There is a lot of people that try to pierce out of the house or think it’s the old school style of numbing it with a piece of ice and then just stabbing a sewing needle through it,” said Rachael Buck, a body piercer at Cape Fear Tattoo & Body Piercing. “It’s really not like that.”
That’s why Buck makes sure her environment is sterile and that she does everything the safest way possible.
“Everyone here has been certified in cross-contamination because we want them to be, not because we have to be,” Buck said.
House Bill 250 would make it so those do piercings have to be certified.
Lenoir County Health Department director Joey Huff supports the bill.
“Whenever you pierce the body and come in contact with body fluids, there is always the risk of contaminating a particular device and then transmitting that contaminated blood to another unsuspecting customer,” said Huff. “…Our concern would be the transmission of blood-borne pathogens to include HIV, syphilis, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.”
Artists and health experts have a warning for you until stricter regulations are in place.
“You don’t really know if that person piercing your child knows what they’re doing,” said Buck.
The bill is another step closer to becoming a reality. It unanimously passed a committee Tuesday and now heads to the House Finance Committee.