Health District

Invasive Body Decoration Program

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Program Description

Invasive Body Decoration (IBD) means any invasive technique used to permanently or temporarily alter the body.  This includes tattoo, tattoo removal, piercing, permanent make-up, microblading, etc.  The Washoe County Health District (WCHD) regulates any person or facility performing IBD procedures to ensure that these activities are performed in a safe and sanitary manner to prevent the potential spread of blood-borne disease.

Any person or facility that performs IBD procedures is required to obtain a valid health permit from the WCHD.  A minimum of one annual inspection will be performed by WCHD personnel for each permit that is issued.  IBD procedures performed in a Physician’s office or under the direct supervision of a Physician may be exempt from WCHD regulation.  Please contact the WCHD for additional details.

Construction Information

A facility layout must be submitted with each completed permit application.  All facility layouts must be drawn to scale on a standard sheet of paper and should include the following at a minimum:

  • One (1) free standing hand sink for every four (4) work stations
  • Bathroom sinks do not count as a hand sink
  • All finishes must be smooth and cleanable
  • Smooth and cleanable flooring (no carpet)
  • Ability to provide for privacy for all persons
  • Clearly identify all work stations on the plan
  • Clearly label the bathroom
  • Identify a Bioroom if you have an autoclave
    • A Bioroom requires a separate 2-basin sink

If you have questions regarding the above requirements or have other general questions on how to set up a shop and get a permit, please contact our office to schedule a time to meet and go over your questions and concerns.  An advisory fee may also be paid to have an initial inspection of any facility prior to submittal of a completed permit application.

Special Event Information

Tattoo and Piercing events are becoming more commonplace and provide artists the ability to showcase their work in new locations and expand their clientele.  These types of events require that temporary IBD permits be obtained for events occurring at locations that are outside of established IBD facilities.  WCHD personnel inspect all temporary locations where IBD procedures are being performed to ensure that the procedures are being conducted in a safe and sanitary environment.

If a special event is being hosted to include multiple artist booth locations, the event organizer is required to obtain a Promoter Permit from the WCHD at least 60 days prior to the event.  The promoter is responsible for ensuring that all WCHD requirements are met.  This includes the following:

  • Provide smooth and cleanable floors
  • Provide hot water hand wash stations
  • Provide daily trash service (at a minimum)
  • Provide sharps containers for each booth (at a minimum)
  • Provide for sharps disposal from the event (no sharps may leave the event)
  • Provide for a scrub sink, autoclave, and separate area if there will be any metal tools
  • Provide a diagram of the event layout
  • Provide a list of aprpoved artists/facilities to operate at the end

A Temporary IBD permit is also required for each booth location operating at the event.  Each business operating at the event must submit a temporary permit application at least 14 days prior to the event.  Multiple artists may work in each booth location and the total number allowed is dependent on the size of the booth.  Guest artists not permanently employed with the permit applicant’s business may be responsible for obtaining their own separate permits.  Please contact the WCHD for additional permitting information.

Resources for Operators

Please contact the WCHD to obtain Promoter and Temporary IBD Permit Applications

Contact the Program

Nick Florey, Senior Environmental Health Specialist
775.328.2648
nflorey@washoecounty.us

Front Desk
775.328.2434

Last modified on 11/08/2018

Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »
Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »