Bloodborne Pathogens Training for Texas Tattoo Artists and Piercers

(Current as of August 17, 2022.)

Texas does not require tattoo artists and piercers to take a bloodborne pathogens course, but it does require them to learn aseptic technique (Texas Admin. Code Title 25, 229.401-413).

Even though it's not a state requirement, some Texas tattoo artists and piercers take bloodborne pathogens training courses because they want infection prevention training that's body art specific or because they are doing a body art show in a state which requires an approved BBP course.

Tattoo artists and piercers who work only in Texas should consider taking “BBP300 Bloodborne Pathogens Training and Infection Control for Body Art Professionals (Nationwide)”. The price is $30. This online, narrated course complies with OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard. The course can be taken in English, Spanish, or Vietnamese.

Texas Body Art Regulations

Any Texas business that does tattooing, piercing, permanent cosmetics, microblading, or scarification is required to obtain a tattoo/piercing license from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

The Texas Drugs and Medical Devices Unit inspects body art studios to ensure compliance with licensing standards. 

The “Tattoo and Certain Body Piercing Act”, Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 146, sets out the requirements for body art studios. Some of these requirements are as follows:

  • Obtain a license
  • Meet facility requirements
  • Not tattoo or pierce minors (See exceptions in TAC Title 25, 229.406 (c)(d))
  • Not tattoo or pierce persons under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Prevent the spread of infection by observing universal precautions
  • Maintain records for each person receiving a tattoo or piercing
  • Maintain records showing routine sterilization practices
  • Provide oral and written instructions for the care of tattoos or piercings
  • Report any adverse effect or infection caused by tattooing or piercing
  • Dispose of infectious waste according to regulations

Some jurisdictions in Texas, however, may have local regulations that are stricter than those of the state.

Body art regulations in Texas are enforced. From January to May in 2022, inspectors from the Texas Drugs and Medical Devices Unit brought disciplinary action against 9 body art shops. Penalties ranged from $400 to $1,725. Violations included: 

  • not maintaining the studio in a sanitary condition
  • tattooing a person younger than 18 years of age
  • not providing the client with verbal and written information about the possible risk and dangers associated with the application of tattoos
  • not maintaining proper client records
  • not maintaining sterilization records

Regulations do change. Make sure you are aware of the current regulations for body art studios and body art practitioners in the location in which you work.