By Mark Boshnack
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's signing of a bill to better protect teens wanting body piercing was hailed Tuesday by workers at various area establishments. The bill considers a body piercing as being located on any part other than the ear. It will have little impact on local operations, those interviewed said.
The legislation requires that each studio check the identification of teens, and those under 18 are required to provide a consent form signed by a parent or legal guardian signed in the presence of the owner or body piercing specialist, according to a media release from Cuomo. The law takes effect in 90 days. Currently, there is no minimum age requirement. By comparison, it is illegal to tattoo someone under the age of 18. About 20 percent of all body piercings result in infection.
"I think it's a great idea," said Joe Hamilton, manager of Indelible Ink in Oneonta. "It makes sense."
It won't affect his business much, he said. He only performs the procedure on people 16 and older. Minors have to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. He requires both to have picture identification showing they live at the same address.
At Golden Lotus Tattoo in Oneonta, tattooist Nathan Purcell said the shop requires anyone under 18 to come in with a parent or guardian, with government-issued ID's for both, or a birth certificate. Not only is that to make sure the parent or guardian doesn't complain, but also a teen can get better help taking care of the piercing.
"It's better for everyone if they know about it," he said. "It keeps everyone safer."
Joyce Lein is a partner with her son at Rosebud Tattoo and Tanning in Norwich.
"I think its a good law," she said. "Kids need a little guidance."
Her policy is that teens 13 and over need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. They don't do the procedure on anyone younger. "Parents need to know what is going on," she said.
It's important for parents to know where the procedures are being done and that it is a clean establishment, she said.