Lawmaker wants statewide rules for tattoo artists

Massachusetts state Rep. Bruce Ayers, D-Quincy, wants to establish statewide regulations for tattooing and body piercing.

Ayers told the Patriot Ledger he wants all artists to be licensed by the state Department of Public Health.

Currently, local city and town health departments write the regulations.

Ayers told the paper that he wants the state to write the rules to prevent the possible spread of hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis and HIV.

Ayers has sponsored similar measures twice before -- in 2009 and 2011, but neither bill got far in the Massachusetts Legislature.