Environmental Heatlh

Environmental Health

Body Crafting

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is body crafting?
Body crafting has many different meanings.  However, for the DeKalb County law, body crafting is body piercing, tattooing and cosmetic tattooing (such as eyeliner, lip liner or blush)

What is the purpose of the new body crafting law?
The purpose of the law is to put in place standards for the tattoo and piercing industry to decrease the risk of disease and infection.

What types of permits are required?
Two types of permits are required.  Body crafting studios (business providing a tattoo or piercing) are required to obtain a permit from the DeKalb County Board of Health.  Also, body crafting artists (person providing a tattoo or piercing) are required to obtain a permit.  Both types of permits are to be visible to the public in the body crafting studio.  No one should perform tattooing or piercing outside of a validly permitted body crafting studio.

Does this ordinance apply to businesses that pierce ears such as jewelry stores or kiosks in the mall?
A facility that limits its piercing practice to the piercing of the lobe of the ear with pre-sterilized, single-use stud and clasp ear piercing systems is exempt from this law.

What precautions protect the health of those performing or receiving a piercing or a tattoo?
The law requires:

  • The use of single-use, sterile supplies (medical gloves, needles, razors, gauze, containers for dyes, etc.)
  • Only jewelry suitable for permanent implant
  • Proper sterilization of instruments
  • The use of antiseptics on the skin
  • The use of disinfectants for cleaning surfaces
  • Proper disposal of needles and waste
  • Board of Health inspections at least twice a year and posting of most recent inspection report
  • Body crafting artists be certified in emergency first-aid, CPR and infection control

The law prohibits:

  • Eating or drinking in the procedure room
  • Animals in the procedure room except used by persons with disabilities
  • Procedures performed by or given to persons under the influence of alcohol or drugs

What does the law state in regards to minors?
No person can perform body crafting on a person under the age of 18.  Body crafting artists also have to be at least 18.

Are body crafting artists required to provide clients with information before they receive a tattoo or piercing?
The client shall receive both written and oral instructions on how to take care of the tattoo or piercing as it heals.

Can body crafting be performed at a convention or fair?
No.  Body crafting cannot be performed in any type of temporary facility or mobile facility such as a car, mobile home, tent, recreational vehicle or trailer.

How can I report a studio or artist that is in violation of this law?
Contact the DeKalb County Board of Health, Division of Environmental Health at
404-508-7900 to report anyone in violation of this law.  The name, address, telephone number and all other identifying information of the reporting individual will remain confidential, unless required by law to be disclosed.