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Body piercing

March 27, 1998

Pennsylvania Department of Health spokesman Richard McGarvey said there are no state health standards for tattooing or body piercing. "Those kinds of procedures are not regulated per se," he said.

In Maryland, anyone younger than 18 must have parental permission to get a tattoo or body piercing, health department officials said.

In West Virginia, strict body piercing laws are in effect. Parents of children younger than 18 must sign consent for the procedure. Body piercing parlors must have an operating permit, and register with the regional health authority.

Piercing parlors must be inspected annually. The health department can close parlors found in violation of health regulations.

A parlor owner who doesn't get a permit, ask for health department inspection, or fails to register with the health board is guilty of a misdemeanor.

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The first offense calls for confiscation of all piercing equipment and a fine of $100. The second offense calls for confiscation of equipment, a fine of not less than $500 or more than $1,000 and/or imprisonment in jail for not less than 10 days or more than one year.

A third offense calls for confiscation of equipment, a fine of not less than $1,000 or more than $5,000, and/or imprisonment in jail for not less than 30 days or more than one year.

- Terry Talbert, Staff Writer

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