(AFP) – May 8, 2008
SYDNEY (AFP) — Australia's most populous state will ban young teenagers from having intimate body piercings, with authorities saying on Thursday that the health risks from the fashion trend were too great.
New South Wales Community Services Minister Kevin Greene said nipple and genital piercings for under 16s would be outlawed and children would need parental permission for other types of piercing, such as ear, nose and navel.
"Personally, I can't see why any child under the age of 16 would want to expose their genitalia to a stranger just to fulfil the needs of a fashion or a trend," he said.
"There's also a potential health risk. There's the possibility of issues such as hepatitis B or C, toxic shock and blood poisoning, and certainly there are those child protection concerns."
Greene said operators who carried out intimate piercings on minors would face fine of up to 22,000 (20,600 US), while those who performed other types of piercings on children without parental permission could be fined 3,000 (2,800 US).
Greene said the new laws would be in force within weeks.
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