As of today, people with tattoos or body piercings are no longer required to wait a year before donating blood in Minnesota.
The restrictions had been in place to reduce the risk of infecting the blood supply with HIV and other infections from reused needles or ink. Now, all tattoo artists and "body art establishments" must be licensed by state law.
"We estimate that thousands of additional blood and platelet donors will be eligible to donate now," said Dr. David Mair of the American Red Cross. "We hope that this demystifies the myth that once you have a tattoo you can't be a blood donor."
The change in state law was welcomed in a joint statement Monday by the American Red Cross and Memorial Blood Centers.