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Andrew M. Cuomo - Governor

Governor Cuomo Signs Bill to Protect Teens from Health Risks of Body Piercing

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Albany, NY (July 30, 2012)

Governor Cuomo today signed into law a bill to better protect teens from infections and blood-borne disease by requiring that a minor have written parental consent before obtaining a body piercing. This bill, overwhelmingly passed by both the Senate and the Assembly, is an important measure that will help to keep young New Yorkers healthy and safe. 

 

"Body piercing can result in severe health risks and it is our obligation as New Yorkers and parents to make sure that our teens are taking every precaution to remain healthy and safe," Governor Cuomo said. "I thank Senator Robach and Assembly Member Simanowitz for their hard work on this legislation." 

 

Until this bill was signed, New York law stated that there was no minimum age requirement for body piercing. By contrast, it is illegal to tattoo someone under the age of 18. Approximately 20% of all body piercing result in infection, and there is also a risk of contracting hepatitis from the procedure. 

 

The legislation the Governor signed today requires that body piercing studios check the identification of teens, and that underage teens provide a consent form signed by a parent or legal guardian that was signed in the presence of the owner or body piercing specialist at a body piercing studio. A body piercing is a piercing located on a part of the body other than the ear. This law takes effect in 90 days. 

 

Senator Joseph E. Robach, co-sponsor of the bill, said, “As body piercings can often result in infection and a permanent scar, it seems logical that parents should be in involved in the decision. This law will help educate both parents and children of the potential risks of piercings and help them make informed decisions together.” 

 

Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz, co-sponsor of the bill, said, "I want to thank the Governor for taking prompt action on signing this important piece of legislation. Body piercings can pose a significant health risk if not cared for properly. This will now ensure that parents are aware of their son or daughter’s intent to receive a body piercing which will hopefully prevent complications such as allergic reactions, skin infections or scarring. There are thirty one states that prohibit body piercing on minors without parental permission and I am now glad to say New York is the thirty second."

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