Many teenagers have body piercings in New York City. However, most of them are not aware that 20% of all piercings result in infection or that there is a risk of developing hepatitis. In order to protect teens from these health risks, Governor Cuomo signed a bill on July 30 that requires all minors to have a written parental consent before acquiring a body piercing, not including an ear piercing. The consent form must be written in the presence of the owner or body piercing specialist. Teenagers can expect body piercing studios to check their identification and dismiss anyone who is under eighteen and without a parent. Cuomo states,”Body piercing can result in severe health risks and it is our obligation as New Yorkers and parents to make sure that our teens are taking every precaution to remain healthy and safe.”

The legislation was greatly accepted in both the Senate and the Assembly. Assemblyman and co-sponsor of the bill Michael Simanowitzexplains, “Body piercings can pose a significant health risk if not cared for properly. This will now ensure that parents are aware of their son or daughter’s intent to receive a body piercing which will hopefully prevent complications such as allergic reactions, skin infections or scarring.” Senator Joseph E. Robach, also a co-sponsor of the bill,claims that this new law is important so that teenagers and parents can ‘make informed decisions together’. Fifteen year old Joe Caparelli, a student at Regis High School, believes that the bill will ‘prevent kids from doing something that they will inevitably regret’ and that ‘piercings can cause a lot of problems if they’re not done well, therefore, parents should oversee the process or at least consent to it’. Maisha Khan, 15, has a different opinion. She expresses that ‘the more teenagers are restricted, the more they end up doing the illegal act.’

The incentive for passing the bill was aroused when a newspaper column portrayed twelve year olds getting their bodies pierced in the East Village. Prior to the signing of this regulation, there were no age restrictions on kids who chose to get a body piercing in New York. The law takes affect in less than ninety days and will hopefully encourage parents to help their children avoid the dangers of body piercing.