Springfield tattoo artist Styx Killion can see positives from a newly implemented state law that lets donors give blood shortly after getting new tattoos or piercings. The law allows people with body art from businesses inspected by state or local health officials to skip the year-long waiting period for donating blood.
Springfield tattoo artist Styx Killion can see positives from a newly implemented state law that lets donors give blood shortly after getting new tattoos or piercings.
"I'm ok with it, as long as the shops are regulated properly," said Killion, owner of Styx Unlimited Tattoo Emporium.
He's not alone.
The law allows people with body art from businesses inspected by state or local health officials to skip the year-long waiting period for donating blood.
Margaret Vaughn with the state Coalition of Community Blood Centers said Wednesday that law became effective in July 2007. But it wasn't enforced until last summer when the state Public Health Department finished writing inspection codes for body art shops.
So far, Vaughn said, 226 tattoo parlors have been inspected since the effort began last August. She said the law applies to people who got body art on or after January 1, 2010.
Before the law became effective, Vaughn said, blood banks statewide were turning away about 150 eligible donors each day.
"We rely very heavily on the college and the high school campuses," she said. "That was a top concern at blood drives was that we were turning people away."
Rep. Patricia Bellock, R-Hinsdale, sponsored the legislation. She said the law also assures people that a licensed body art shop is safe.
Killion hopes the effort will crack down on tattoo shop owners who put people at risk of catching diseases by violating state health codes.
"I'm sure if they inspected more places, there would be some that would be shut down," he said.
Killion said his shop has not been inspected. He requires all body artists to wear gloves and sterilize needles and other equipment before they are used.
"If (people) get a tattoo here, they're definitely safe to give blood," Killion said.
Matt Carnduff, 20, of Springfield said he donated blood six months ago at Lincoln Land Community College. Carnduff, who was getting his first tattoo at the Styx shop Tuesday, agreed that donors with new body art should be able to give blood without waiting, if the shop was properly inspected.
Tattoo parlors must pay a $1,000 fee each year for the inspections.
John Guidroz can be reached at (217) 782-6882 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A look at what you need to know to give blood.
_Those with new tattoos and piercings can donate as long as the shop where they received the marking is inspected and registered with the state.
_Eligible donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in generally good health.
_Those who are pregnant or have tested positive for HIV, AIDS or hepatitis cannot donate blood.
_Blood donors must wait 56 days before giving blood again. Donors can give blood up to six times a year.