Cumberland Times-News

Local News

May 18, 2013

County plans to regulate piercings and change rules for tattoo parlors

Children would be able to get ink artwork with permission of parents

CUMBERLAND — While Allegany County regulates tattoos, it does not currently regulate body piercings, but the county health department is planning to change that situation soon.

Legitimate tattoo and piercing shops are cooperating in the update, county health officials have said.

In fact, if adopted by county commissioners, the new rules will allow children to obtain tattoos with parental permission. That’s because some kids get tattoos from friends or illegitimate shops, and then parents hope to fix the tattoo by covering it with a professional ink design.

Local tattoo and piercing shops are on board with the updates. Brian Dicken of the Allegany County Health Department praised the cooperation of the local establishments. The last update for the regulations was in 1991, before piercings became common.

“These things are being done, but they are unregulated,” Dicken said. “We’re not changing the intent of the regulations,” Dicken said.

Health department officials looked to a national code to update the county code with the best possible information. Dicken said he intends to share the proposed regulations with the tattoo and piercing coommunity and then commissioners will open the process to public comment.

Often, licensed tattoo shops are called upon to fix shoddy or illegal work. That’s why the new regulations could allow for work on children, with parental permission. Parents may want a decent shop to fix poorly made tattoos. One way to do that is to cover a bad tattoo with a good one, Dicken said. The health department enforces tattooing and will enforce piercing regulation. However, the department has little ability to fight illegal or underground tattooing.

“We have to fix up the work all the time,” said Julie Fresh, the manager at Independent Ink in Frostburg. Fresh said she supports tighter enforcement of tattoo and piercing laws. “They just want everything clean, and that’s what we want, too,” Fresh said.

Dicken said other concerns in the new regulations include blood-borne pathogens and infections in general.

Before any new rules are adopted, county commissioners must hold a public hearing and vote on the changes.

Contact Matthew Bieniek at

Text Only
Local News
  • Easter experience Easter experience

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Game on: City interested in baseball study

    After it looked like the objection of a couple of constituents to a study on the feasibility of bringing a minor league baseball team to the area may have torpedoed the thought, county commissioners and some city officials sounded ready to sing a chorus of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” on Thursday.

    April 18, 2014

  • DEREK SHEELY Charges against helmet maker stand in case of Frostburg player’s death

    A Montgomery County judge this week declined to dismiss charges against a helmet manufacturer in a case brought by the parents of a Frostburg State University football player who died of head injuries in August 2011 following four straight days of heavy contact drills in practice.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • GAYLE MANCHIN W.Va. BOE president speaks on issues at WVSDB

    West Virginia Board of Education President Gayle Manchin responded to issues at the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind during an interview with the Times-News Wednesday morning.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • REGINALD REDMAN Moorefield man jailed on felony drug count

    A Moorefield man was arrested on various charges Thursday, including a felony drug offense for possession of amphetamines, according to the Keyser Police Department.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blossoming optimism Blossoming optimism

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds

    After you drive Alexander and Furnace streets then navigate a couple of switchbacks on Cemetery Road, you’d figure there would be no more uphill.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Proposed county budget holds most agencies flat

    After taking into account an income tax shortfall, Allegany County Finance Director Jason Bennett said he’ll propose a budget that holds most outside agencies to flat funding and funds the Board of Education at what county officials say are maintenence of effort levels for 2015.

    April 17, 2014

  • RYAN WOLF Wolf named 2014-15 Garrett Teacher of the Year

    Southern Garrett High School teacher Ryan Wolf has been named the 2014-15 Garrett County Teacher of the Year.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock

    While giving a civics lesson at Frostburg State University on Thursday, U.S. Rep. John Delaney, congressman from Maryland’s sixth district, told students that the polarization in Congress is due primarily to redistricting and a poorly designed Congressional schedule.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
News related video
Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military