Board of Health

Healthy Lifestyle

Health Commissioner

Health Department

General Information

Tattoo and Body Piercing


The Tattoo and Body Piercing Program serves to protect public health by licensing and inspecting tattoo and/or body piercing facilities located within Canton city limits. The program provides regulatory oversight / enforcement with the intent to minimize the transmission of bloodborne pathogens and other infectious agents between all parties involved in the tattoo and/or body piercing operations. Consultation is also available to assist new operators in planning their tattoo and/or body piercing operation and to help new and existing operators achieve and maintain compliance with all regulatory requirements as specified in 3701-9 of the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) and 3730.01-3730.11 of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC).

Licensing and Plan Review:

Pursuant to the above cited regulations, all tattoo and/or body piercing operations must be licensed by the local board of health to operate as a tattoo and/or body piercing operation. Prior to obtaining a license, a new operator must submit plans to the Environmental Health Division for approval. Plans must be submitted before construction or remodeling commences. Existing operators must also submit plans for approval prior to remodeling there existing tattoo and/or body piercing facility.

Plans submitted to the Environmental Health Division should include the following information:

-The total area in square feet of the entire facility.

-The area in square feet of each tattoo / body piercing station.

-A floor plan that includes all areas of the facility used for the tattoo and/or body piercing operation.

-Identify all entrances and exits on the floor plan.

-Identify the number, type and location of plumbing fixtures on floor plan.

-Provide a lighting plan with the foot candles to ensure that sufficient light is provided.

-The floor plan should include a general layout of fixtures and equipment.

-The floor plan should list the materials and surface finishes to be used for floors, walls and equipment.

-Provide a list of the make and model #s of all equipment to be used.

Please include with your plans the following information: the operator/s name, address, telephone number; the business name, the business address, and the business telephone number; the letters of attestation from an apprenticeship or certifications that demonstrate that all employees performing tattoo and/or body piercing have been trained in tattooing and/or body piercing; all other required training documets (ie first aid, blood borne pathogens) for each employee that will be performing tattoo and/or body piercing procedures; and a copy of all aftercare instruction documents that will be provided to customers.

After we have received all of the required information and plans, we will respond within 30 days with an approval, request for additional information, or necessary changes to your plans. Once the plans have been approved and your facility is ready to open, you will need to contact us to set up a pre-licensing inspection, at which time, we will determine if the facility is in accordance with the approved plans and if it meets all requirements specified in the Ohio Tattoo & Body Piercing Laws & Rules (OAC 3701-9). If the facility passes the pre-licensing inspection, an application for a license will be issued. The application along with the appropriate fee ($160.00) must be submitted to the Canton City Health Department to obtain your license to operate. In addition to the above, you will need to contact the Canton City Building and Code Departments at 330-430-7800 to determine if a Code Compliance inspection is required for your facility.

General Requirements:

The following are general guidelines to consider in developing a plan for your tattoo and/or body piercing operation. These guidelines do not include all regulatory requirements specified in the Ohio Tattoo & Body Piercing Laws and Rules. It is recommended that all operators review the Ohio Tattoo & Body Piercing Laws and Rules which can be found at the Ohio Department of Health website:

-The physical facilities must be greater than 100ft².

-Each tattoo and/or body piercing station must have an area of at least 36ft² and shall be separated from each other and waiting patrons or observers by a panel of by a door. Complete privacy should be available upon request.

-The entire procedure room/s and equipment shall be maintained a clean, sanitary condition and in good repair.

-Lighting sources shall provide the equivalent of 20 foot candles at a distance of 20 inches above the floor throughout the facility and a minimum of 40 foot candles of light at the level where tattooing and/or body piercing procedures are performed.

-Flooring under equipment used for tattoo and/or body piercing procedures shall be impervious, smooth, and washable.

-Walls shall be maintained in a sanitary manner.

-All tables and equipment shall be smooth, easily cleanable and washable. The tables, equipment and surrounding areas should be maintained clean and sanitary.

-Restrooms must be located within the facility and made available to employees and customers at all times the operation is open for business. Each restroom must be provided with a toilet, toilet paper installed in a holder, a lavatory with hot and cold running water, hand soap, and single use towels. Storage or use of equipment or supplies used for tattoo and/or body piercing services in the restroom is not permitted. Doors to the restrooms should be self closing and tight fitting.

-All lavatories or handwashing facilities shall be provided with hot and cold running water, hand soap, and single use towels. The lavatories or handwashing facilities should be located in close proximity to persons performing tattoo and/or body piercing procedures.

-There shall be no overhead or otherwise exposed sewerage lines that create a potential hazard to the sanitary environment of the business.

-Provide sufficient receptacles with lids for disposal of gloves, dressings, and trash. The receptacles shall remain closed/covered when not in use.

For more information regarding tattoo and/or body piercing operations please reference the following websites:

Bloodborne Pathogens and Needle Stick Information:

CDC – Health and Safety of Tattoo Artists, Body Piercers and Their Clients:

FDA – Tattoos and Permanent Makeup:


Ohio Administrative Code – Tattoo and Body Piercing Establishments:

Ohio EPA – Small Generators of Infectious Wastes:

Ohio EPA – Handling Infectious Wastes "Sharps":

For additional questions, please contact Annmarie Butusov at (330) 438-4641 or 

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