Tattoo Artists Seek Regulation in Pennsylvania

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – Within the four-state area, West Virginia and Virginia have tattoo regulations that require proper cleaning protocols of equipment and licensing for tattoo artists. Virginia even has an ongoing education requirement on proper sterilization and aseptic techniques for licensed artists.

Pennsylvania and Maryland, on the other hand, do not.

medical groups are calling for regulation of the state’s tattoo industry, something a Chambersburg tattoo artist has been advocating for the past 30 years.

Eric Von Dar, owner of Elite Tattoos, even traveled to
Virginia to get a license that he believes matters.

Pennsylvania does not have any licensing, I had to show tax records, I had to do a criminal background,” Von Dar said. “I had blood work done to make sure I didn’t have hepatitis A, B or C, or AIDS, and submit that.”

Getting ink that doesn’t adhere to any health code by the state could be more detrimental than you think.

“Hepatitis C is extremely transmissible – many more times than even the HIV virus,” said Dr. Christine Cabell of the Pennsylvania Academy of Dermatology at
Geisinger Medical Center. “It only takes one, tiny contamination needle to pass that.”

Jesse Tseronis, who owns Sakura Tattoo in
Winchester, said he’s glad his state shrewdly regulates the industry.

“It’s just like anybody can watch a television show, and if there’s no regulation, they can go to pick up tattoo equipment anywhere and think, ‘oh, you know, I’m going to start tattooing people
out of my house.’”

Tattoo experts and medical officials agree – the best thing anyone can do before getting a tattoo is to do their research.

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