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L.A. city leaders weigh strategies for inspecting porn shoots

August 16, 2012 |  9:19 am

Faced with a new law requiring condoms during porn shoots, Los Angeles officials have recommended that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the City Council begin searching for a medical professional to conduct inspections of adult film performancesFaced with a new law requiring condoms during porn shoots, Los Angeles officials have recommended that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the City Council begin searching for a medical professional to conduct inspections of adult film performances.

In a report issued Wednesday, a working group focused on ways to enforce the new condom ordinance said Film L.A. Inc., the office that processes film permits, should rework its applications so passages that discuss hazardous working conditions and dangerous special effects also mention the "transmission of blood and infectious materials."

Those applications also should include a check box in which film companies explain whether the productions will feature various forms of sexual intercourse and, if so, what kind, the report said.

The recommendations come eight months after proponents of condom usage in the adult film industry submitted enough signatures to get new regulations on the ballot. The council responded by approving an ordinance weeks later.

Although they have continued developing strategies for inspecting adult film shoots, city leaders are hoping Los Angeles County voters will approve a separate condom measure Nov. 6 that imposes similar regulations countywide.

Such a measure would make adult film industry inspections the responsibility of the county health department, which already works to prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases in bathhouses and sex clubs.

If it passes, city leaders could put a new measure on the March municipal election ballot that relies on the county for its enforcement, said City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana.

"This is a healthcare initiative, and the county is responsible for all healthcare issues in the city of Los Angeles," he said.

Creating an adult film permit office at the health department would cost a minimum of $291,000 annually, county officials warned earlier this year. Of the more than 22,000 permits processed by Film L.A. last year, 480 were for adult film shoots.

The adult film working group at City Hall includes representatives of the Police Department, the Personnel Department, the city attorney's office and Santana's office. The group called for a search process to identify a nurse or other healthcare specialist to visit L.A. movie sets where the transmission of blood or bodily fluids takes place. But that process won't be developed for at least 90 days -- after the county's ballot measure is decided.

Still unclear is the amount of the inspection fee that would be charged by the city to adult film producers. The working group asked officials at the Fire Department to come up with an estimate if they were charged with the task and was informed the cost could range from $2,204 to $3,472, Santana said.

Depending on the number of film shoots and the frequency of the spot checks, the task could require more than 100 full-time Fire Department employees and cost more than $1.7 million, officials said.

"It's hard to establish what the fee should be until we know the actual cost of providing the inspections," Santana said.

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-- David Zahniser

Photo: Condoms. Credit: Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times

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