Body-Piercing Rules Lawmakers Want Parental Consent Mandatory

By Womble, Shannon; Pfankuch, Thomas B. | The Florida Times Union, April 10, 1999 | Go to article overview

Body-Piercing Rules Lawmakers Want Parental Consent Mandatory


Womble, Shannon, Pfankuch, Thomas B., The Florida Times Union


Stacee Holland said she's glad her parents allowed her to pierce her navel for her 16th birthday gift and supports lawmakers who want to make parental consent mandatory before other teenagers can pierce their bodies.

"If it's done wrong and your parents don't know you did it, chances are they are going to be really mad when they find out," the Jacksonville teen said. "You might really need [medical] help, but first you have to deal with your parents."

The measure regulating the bodypiercing industry, House Bill 489, was passed unanimously by the Health and Human Services Appropriations Committee Friday, and now goes before the full House. A companion measure, Senate Bill 980, also has passed through the committee process and is headed for the Senate floor.

Similar legislation has been approved by the House each of the past two sessions but died in the Senate.

Under the proposed bill, 16 and 17 year olds would be required to bring written notarized consent from their parents to a body-piercing salon. Children under 16 would have to bring a parent or legal guardian to the salonin order to get pierced. Earpiercing is not included.

Currently, the growing body-piercing industry falls under under tattoo licensing and lacks uniform health standards, said salon owners.

The legislation would require the state's estimated 260 salons to be inspected annually by the state Department of Health and operators would have to buy a $150 license each year.

"This is an invasive procedure and is a serious threat to the health and safety of the citizens and we want to make sure it's safe," said Rep. Carlos Valdes, R-Miami. "This body piercing is happening at discotheques and on the beach, and that doesn't seem to be an appropriate place for such an invasive procedure."

He said the practice can be dangerous if not performed in sanitary conditions and can lead to infections or the spread of diseases like hepatitis or the virus that causes AIDS. …

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