Body Art Programs for Regulators

Training Overview

  • Audience: Public and community health professionals and anyone interested in learning more about local board of health regulations for body art
  • Format: Online, self-paced
  • Price: Free
  • Length: 1 hour
  • Contact hours: Massachusetts CHO, RS, National Environmental Health Association REHS/RS
  • Competencies: Body Art
  • Learning level: Awareness
  • Prerequisites:Medical and Biological Waste Programs for Regulators
  • Companion trainings: None
  • Supplemental materials:

The practice of body art has become mainstream in the United States. According to a 2015 Harris poll, about three in ten people surveyed had at least one tattoo. Of those, seven in ten had two tattoos or more. A 2006 paper in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (DOI: 10.1016/j.jaad.2006.03.026) reported that 14% of people who responded to a survey had body piercings. Tattooing was constitutionally banned in Massachusetts until a court decision rendered that prohibition unconstitutional in 2001. Currently, there are no state regulations governing the practice of body art, however the state does provide model regulations that local boards of health (LBOH) can enact in their own community. Since body art procedures can pose health risks to practitioners and clients, LBOH should identify body art establishments in their community and work with practitioners to promote safe body art and waste disposal methods and consider adopting local body art regulations.

Enroll To receive a certificate of completion. This requires registration to establish a learner profile and completion of pre- and post-tests
Course Table The Audit function is no longer available. However, all job aids are still available for viewing via the course table.

What you’ll learn

After completing this training, you will be able to:

  • Describe four body art procedures and four associated health risks
  • Explain how body art is regulated in Massachusetts
  • Summarize four sections that local body art regulations should include
  • List four key LBOH functions to ensure body art establishments and practitioners comply with local regulations.

Subject Matter Expert

  • Steve Hughes
    Program Director
    Bureau of Environmental Health
    Massachusetts Department of Public Health

  • Bharathi Patimalla-Dipali
    Environmental Analyst
    Bureau of Environmental Health
    Massachusetts Department of Public Health


This training was supported by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) with funds made available by the Grant Number CFDA #93.069 and #93.889, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services.
This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UB6HP20150 “Public Health Training Center”. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.