Body Art: Emerging Practices Gain Legislative Attention
Scarification. Dermal implanting.
If those words are unfamiliar to you or cause you vague alarm, imagine what photos of such emerging "body art" practices generated in members of the Oregon State Legislature upon witnessing a presentation by the Oregon Health Licensing Agency (OHLA) during this year's legislative session, which adjourned last Thursday, June 30.
OHLA brought to the attention of state legislators the current limitations of state regulations concerning such practices to protect public health and safety, leading to the establishment of the Board of Body Art Practitioners.
House Bill 2013 effectively abolishes the existing Advisory Council for Electrologists, Permanent Color Technicians and Tattoo Artists by consolidating regulatory oversight of those three professions into the new board along with body piercing, scarification and dermal implanting.
OHLA has provided licensing and regulatory oversight of body piercing technicians and facilities since 1995. Until passage of HB 2013, body piercing was the only OHLA-regulated profession not represented by an advisory board or council.
"Our statutory authority to regulate body piercing did not extend to these emerging practices," says OHLA Senior Policy Analyst Nancy Sellers, who helped shape the legislation. "The agency had no legal framework to set licensing and practice standards."
OHLA will establish those standards in consultation with the new board. OHLA, which oversees multiple health and related professions, has already scheduled meetings to begin the process. Once those standards are established in Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR), anyone practicing scarification and dermal implanting will be required to meet the requirements of those standards.
"It was time to get a handle on practices that had for some time flown under the regulatory radar," says OHLA Director Randy Everitt. "We thank legislators for acknowledging the issue and allowing us to do our job, which is to ensure the health and safety of the public is protected from unqualified and unlicensed practitioners."
Board of Body Art Practitioners: At-a-Glance
House Bill 2013 establishes the Board of Body Art Practitioners, the newest advisory body overseen by the Oregon Health Licensing Agency.
Legislative Highlights: The House Committee on Health Care sponsored HB 2013. The bill passed the full House of Representatives 60-0 and the full Senate 29-1. Governor John Kitzhaber signed the bill on June 16.
Board of Body Art Practitioners: Seven members appointed by the Governor to serve four-year terms.
Emerging Practice Definitions: HB 2013 provides the following definitions of two practices specified in the legislation.
- Two licensed to perform body piercing, dermal implanting or scarification
- Two licensed to perform tattooing / permanent color
- One licensed to perform electrolysis
- One public member
Oregon Medical Board Consultation: HB 2013 requires OHLA to consult with the Oregon Medical Board before adopting administrative rules related to genital piercing, dermal implanting and other emerging body art practices.
- "Dermal Implanting" means the insertion of an object under the skin of a live human being for ornamentation or decoration.
- "Scarification" means injury of the skin to produce a scar on a live human being for permanent ornamentation or decoration.
Other Legislative News: Dieticians, Sleep Technicians, Denturists, and Midwives
In other news from this year's session of the Oregon State Legislature:
- With the passage of Senate Bill 939, OHLA is set to gain its 11th advisory board/council, the Board of Licensed Dietitians. Previously named the Board of Examiners of Licensed Dietitians, the Legislature created the board in 1989 and it has operated as a stand-alone board until passage of SB 939.
- OHLA will now oversee the Respiratory Therapist and Polysomnographic Technologist Licensing Board. Passage of Senate Bill 723 changes the name and membership of the existing Respiratory Therapist Licensing Board by requiring licensure for practitioners in the growing field of sleep disorder treatment.
- Passage of House Bill 2145 allows denturists to provide removable nonorthodontic dental appliances to be worn in the human mouth, such as teeth whitening trays or sleep apnea devices, without actually allowing licensees of the Board of Denture Technology to provide services that would encroach on the practice of dentistry or respiratory therapy.
- Passage of House Bill 2380 provides confidentiality for peer review for the Board of Direct Entry Midwifery, transfers responsibility for data collection from OHLA to the Oregon Health Authority, Center for Health Statistics, protects physicians or hospitals from liability when care is transferred form a licensed directy entry midwife unless the physician or hospital contributes to injury or harm to mother and/or baby, and eliminates one of two nurse midwife positions on the board.
- OHLA's budget and fee bills, HB 5026 and HB 5027, passed, approving the agency budget of $6,568,327 and licensing fees for the Board of Cosmetology, Advisory Council for Electrologists, Permanent Color Technicians and Tattoo Artists, Board of Direct Entry Midwifery, Respiratory Therapist Licensing Board and Sex Offender Treatment Board.
Training Spurs Investigatory Improvements at OHLA
In his Message from the Director, OHLA Director Randy Everitt describes recent training and testing of the agency's Regulatory Operations Division staff to raise the performance bar on inspections and investigations.
|OHLA Director Randy Everitt
"I based these training sessions, which I led, on the agency’s Investigative Protocol, which is a regulatory roadmap that provides clear-cut steps to conduct investigations," says Everitt. "We weren’t reinventing the wheel here, just making sure we have good tread and are aligned correctly."
The goal? To ensure improved outcomes for consunmers, licensees and the agency.
"We weren't reinventing the wheel here, just making sure we have good tread and are aligned correctly," says Everitt. "The investigative protocol and trainings are based on tried-and-true standards."
Watch OHLA Meetings Online and Live
OHLA now offers online live access to all regularly scheduled full board and council meetings. To view, just click on the link on a meeting page of the specific board or council.
The agency is offering this new feature to provide stakeholders who can’t make the trip to Salem an opportunity to learn more about licensing and regulatory developments.
Visit http://www.oregon.gov/OHLA/Global/Board_Meetings.shtml for more information.
OHLA in the News: Keeping Oregon Salons Safe, Healthy
A segment highlighting Safe Salons, OHLA's public education campaign promoting salon health, safety and infection control, aired on KVAL TV (Eugene) on May 31.
"We appreciate media coverage that helps consumers become more educated about how to make their salon experience enjoyable and safe," says OHLA Public Information Officer Kraig Bohot. "Oregon has avoided the same kind of bacterial infection outbreaks that have plagued other states in the past several years, and we want to keep it that way."
Click on Program helps prevent foot infections to view the report on KVAL.com.
In Other News: Unlicensed Tattooing, Chemical Castration
South County Spotlight
State shuts down unlicensed tattoo parlor
OHLA continues to protect consumers against potentially dangerous unlicensed tattooing activity.
Dr. William Davis, 2011 Chair of the Sex Offender Treatment Board (SOTB), is quoted in the University of Oregon student online publication on the controversial topic of “chemical castration.” While state law governing sex offender therapists does not speak to the issue and the board does not have a position, SOTB members are often asked to provide their expertise on issues related to sex offender therapy.
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or call 503-373-1939.
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