Butler Piercing Bill Uses Parental Involvement To Protect Teen Health

May 31, 2011

Assemblyman Marc W. Butler (R,C,I-Newport) was recently interviewed by FOX5 in New York City regarding his legislation that aims to require parental permission for teen body piercing.

A legislative bill requiring parental consent for teen body piercing, sponsored by Assemblyman Marc W. Butler (R,C,I-Newport), recently gained attention from New York City media after a mother discovered that her teen was able to get a piercing without her permission. Due to a loophole in current law, which already prohibits underage tattooing, piercing has been omitted from the language of the law. Butler’s bill seeks to close that by requiring parental consent for anyone less than 18 years of age before piercing or tattooing.

“There are a number of health risks related to piercings of which minors may not be fully aware, which is why parental involvement and consent is critical to protecting these teens’ health,” said Butler. “I sponsored the bill due to a growing concern by law enforcement in my community; and with the recent events in New York City, I believe there is a growing cause for concern and action is necessary in the Legislature to ensure parents are the first line of defense in protecting their children’s wellbeing. I hope that media attention to the issue will encourage support for the bill in Albany.”

Butler said that the legislation further solidifies a parental right and duty to protecting their children and notes that such permission is already required for indoor tanning. He cautions it is not meant to be a hindrance to small businesses in the field. The bill would require parents to accompany their minor to the parlor and sign a Department of Health consent form in person. The assemblyman also noted that sponsorship interest has grown since the story broke in Manhattan.

Assemblyman Butler understands that for some teens piercing can be an important form of self expression, but wants the minor and their parents to be aware of risks. The Mayo Clinic has outlined several causes for concern for such body modifications citing allergic reactions, skin infections, scarring and granulomas, and most troubling, the risk of transmitting and contracting bloodborne diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, tetanus and HIV.

For further information on the legislation, constituents are encouraged to contact Assemblyman Butler by calling his Herkimer office at (315) 866-1632, Johnstown office at (518) 762-6486, or by emailing him at butlerm@assembly.state.ny.us.