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DC proposes 24-hour waiting period for tattoos

July 20, 2013: An artist works on a tattoo on the body of a man.REUTERS

The days of waking up with a hangover and a mysterious tattoo may be numbered in Washington D.C., thanks to a new regulation being proposed by the city’s Department of Health.

The city's Department of Health proposed 65 pages of regulations for tattoo parlors on Friday. One states that a tattoo artist cannot apply a tattoo until at least 24 hours after a customer requests it. The language for body piercings is similar.

Should it be implemented, D.C. would be one of the few places in the country that imposes a waiting period on tattooing and piercing.

Local tattoo artist Paul Roe calls the proposal "ridiculous" and says it would hurt business.

"That's a classic case of a cosmetologist saying, 'Shouldn't those people think about their decision?'" Rowe told WAMU-FM.

The regulations would also prohibit the tattooing of anyone under the age of 18, require that the operators and artists be licensed, as well as outlining exactly what equipment can be used, and how to maintain it.  Additionally, WAMU-FM reports that it would prohibit the tattooing or piercing of anyone under the influence of drugs and alcohol, although many parlors already follow this unwritten rule.

Roe believes that some regulation is required, but believes that what is being proposed goes too far, arguing that “over-regulation is the killer of any profession.”

Tattooing and piercing were unregulated in the district until last year, when the D.C. Council passed legislation requiring tattoo artists and body piercers to be licensed.

Click for more at WAMU.org

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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