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Body Art (Tattoo & Body Piercing) Program

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 Program Contacts

Gerry Scott REHS
216.201.2000 ext 1259
Matt Johnson MPH, REHS
Program Manager
216.201.2000 ext 1238


The Cuyahoga County Board of Health conducts the Tattoo & Body Piercing Program to help protect public health. The program is conducted under the laws and rules established in Ohio Revised Code and Ohio Administrative Code, and requires all operations that provide tattoo and/or body piercing services to be inspected and approved by local boards of health.

Tattooing and body piercing procedures present the potential for localized bacterial infection and exposure to blood-borne pathogens. To minimize the risk for the transmission of infectious diseases, the program requires specific procedural, record-keeping, safety, and sanitation standards to be in place at these businesses.












What is microblading?

The procedure is performed with a grouping of needles to insert pigment into the skin to create lines that mimic eyebrow hairs.  Microblading and other forms of permanent and semi-permanent make-up are considered tattooing.


Why is it considered tattooing?
According to the Ohio Administrative Code 3701-9-01 , “tattoo” means:  “Any method utilizing needles or other industry specific instruments by someone other than a physician licensed under Chapter 4731. of the Revised Code, to permanently place designs, letters, scrolls, figures, symbols or any other marks upon or under the skin of a person with ink, dye, pigment or any other substance resulting in an alteration of the appearance of the skin.”

What are the laws and rules?
In Cuyahoga County, tattooing of any kind for compensation may only be performed in an approved body art facility by artists who have had proper training in the art and can document current completion of courses in first aid and blood borne pathogens. 

Under state law, microblading is prohibited at facilities that do not have approval from both the city in which it operates and the local health department. An owner of a facility in violation may be fined and or face jail time.

CCBH approves and inspects body art facilities to protect the health and safety of the public. Although microblading is more common than ever, the tattooing process cannot be taken lightly. Since the procedure breaks the skin barrier, inherent risks of allergic reaction, bloodborne disease transmission, and the potential for infection exist.

You can stay safe by making sure to choose a facility that was approved and inspected by a health department for microblading and permanent makeup procedures.

Salon owners wishing to provide professional microblading services can contact CCBH at 216.201.2000 for details about the approval process.


How do I know if a facility is licensed?
Click here to view a current list of Approved Facilities (updated 6-28-2022) 

Anyone can report unlicensed tattooing to us:


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