Tattoo artists in Fulton County face new regulations



FORSYTH, Ga - For the first time, Fulton County’s Health Department is starting to regulate a new industry: Body artists.

Currently, there are no regulations from the county. Channel 2’s Erin Coleman talked to a tattoo artist who said it’s a good idea, if it’s done the right way.

Jason Kelly has been a tattoo artist for nearly 20 years. He says he welcomes more oversight from Fulton County.

“I think most clients are surprised that there’s no health code regulations for tattoo studios currently,” Kelly said.

He’s worked in other counties like DeKalb, which has strict rules. There were none in Fulton, until now. On June 1, Fulton County officially started new body art regulations, but artists still have a lot of questions.

“We’re not a restaurant, we’re not a gym or a docs office. What we do is very unique,” Kelly said. “Some things they might decide to do that are unnecessary, they can leave that stuff out and focus on what really is important.”

Coleman said there are more than 200 body artists the county knows about. Health leaders say the key is to make sure all of them are doing the right thing.

“There will be inspections at each parlor. We look at the facility, the construction of the facility, how that facility operates (and) where they keep their supplies,” environmental health supervisor Malcolm Saunders said.

He said he’s all about keeping the public safe.

“Each artist at each facility must have their own license to operate at that facility,” he said.

“I understand where they’re coming from,” client Gabby Zitka said.

Zitka said she already felt good about the system.

“I love it. I never have a problem. Everything is safe and I don’t feel unsafe in here,” Zitka said.

There will be a series of information sessions for artists starting in a few weeks. Enforcement will start later this year.

“We regulate ourselves, so even without their involvement, we make sure we’re up to our own standards," Kelly said.

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