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Massage Therapy & Prostitution in Los Angeles

SEC. 103.205. MASSAGE THERAPY

The City of Los Angeles recognizes that the practice of massage is therapeutic and the therapist must have a basic knowledge of anatomy, physiology and an understanding of the relationship between the structure and the function of the tissues being treated and the total function of the body. The City also recognizes that the practice of massage without sufficient training and standards can be dangerous to the public. Therefore, the purpose and intent of this Ordinance is to regulate massage establishments and massage therapy practitioners in order to protect and promote the public health, safety and welfare by:

1. Providing appropriate standards for education and training of massage therapists.

2. Providing a clean, sanitary, healthy and safe environment in which massage therapy is offered to the public.

3. Recognizing massage therapy as a legitimate business occupation and promoting the public confidence therein.

(a) Definitions. Unless the context or subject matter clearly indicates that a different meaning is intended, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings when used in this section.

(1) "Board" means the Board of Police Commissioners.

(2) "Massage Therapy" means any method of pressure on or friction against, or stroking, kneading, rubbing, tapping, pounding, or stimulating the external parts of the body with the hands or other parts of the body, or any other type system for treating or manipulating the human body with or without the aid of any mechanical or electrical apparatus or appliances, or with or without supplementary aids such as rubbing alcohol, liniments, antiseptics, oils, powder, creams, lotions, ointments, or other similar preparations commonly used in this practice.

(3) "Massage Business" means the activity or providing, for any form of consideration or gratuity, facilities for: massage therapy, administration of fomentation, massage, electric or magnetic treatment, or alcohol rub; or any other type system for treating or manipulating the human body.

(4) "Off-Premises Massage" means activity of providing massage services, or massage facilities as defined herein at a location other than premises licensed by a permit from the Board.

(5) "Massage Therapist" means any person who, for any form of consideration whatsoever, gives or administers to another person a "massage" as defined in this section.

(6) "Permit" means the permit required to be obtained from the Board for the operation of a Massage business, an Off-Premises Massage business, or for performing the activities of a Massage Therapist, with or without an off-premises endorsement.

(7) "Health Department" means the County of Los Angeles Department of Health Services.

(b) On-Premises Massage Business - Permit Required. (Amended by Ord. No. 175,167, Eff. 5/20/03.) No person shall engage in, promote, advertise, conduct, or carry on, in or upon any premises within the City of Los Angeles, the operation of a massage business without a permit duly issued by the Board pursuant to this subsection for each business location. This required permit shall be in addition to any business tax license required by ordinance.

(1) Application for Permit. Permit applications shall be made in accordance with Chapter X, Article 3, Division 3 of this Code.

(2) Additional Requirements. In addition to those requirements specified in Chapter X, Article 3, Division 3 of this Code, each applicant for a Massage permit shall furnish the following information to the Board:

(i) Each residence and business address of the applicant for the five years immediately preceding the date the application, and in the inclusive dates of each address.

(ii) Written proof that the applicant is at least 18 years of age.

(iii) Applicant's height, weight, color of eyes and hair.

(iv) Three photographs of applicant, of a size specified by the Board, taken within the six months immediately preceding the date of application.

(v) Applicant's business, occupation and employment history for the five years immediately preceding the date of application.

(vi) The permit history of the applicant: whether the person has ever had a license or permit issued by any agency or board, City, County or State revoked or suspended, or has had any professional or vocational license or permit revoked or suspended, and the reason for the revocation or suspension.

(vii) Any other identification and information as may be required by the Board.

(viii) If the applicant is a corporation, the name of the corporation shall be set forth exactly as shown in its Articles of Incorporation or Charter, together with the State and date of incorporation and names and residence addresses of each of its current officers and directors, and each stockholder holding more than five percent of the stock of the corporation. If the applicant is a partnership, the application shall set forth the name and residence addresses of each of the partners, including limited partnership, and it shall furnish a copy of its certificate of limited partnership as filed with the County Clerk. If one or more of the partners is a corporation, the provisions of this subsection pertaining to corporation applicants shall apply. The applicant corporation or partnership shall designate a responsible managing officer. This person shall complete and sign all application forms required for an individual applicant under this ordinance, but only one application fee shall be charged. A change application shall be filed to change the responsible managing officer but no additional inspection shall be necessary. The corporation's or partnership's responsible managing officer must at all times meet all of the requirements set for permittees by this section or the corporation or partnership permit shall be suspended until a responsible managing officer who does meet all these requirements is designated. If no person is named within 90 days, the corporation or partnership permit is deemed cancelled and a new initial application for permit must be filed.

(ix) The name and address of the Owner and Lessor of the Real Property upon or in which the business is to be conducted, and a copy of the deed, lease or rental agreements.

(x) Upon filing of the application for a Massage permit with the Office of Finance, the Office of Finance shall notify the Department of Health. This department shall cause an inspection to be made of the premises sought to be licensed within 20 days to ascertain if the premises are in compliance with all applicable health laws. If the premises are in compliance, the department shall issue a letter to the Office of Finance so stating, which shall be forwarded to the Board with the application. If the premises are not in compliance, the department shall issue a letter to the applicant setting forth the deficiencies and shall reinspect the premises no more than twice upon written request of the applicant. If a letter of full compliance is not issued by the department within 90 days of the date of the filing of the application, the application shall be deemed withdrawn and a new application must be filed. The Office of Finance shall not forward the application to the Board until the Health Department has issued a letter of compliance.

(xi) All convictions for any crime involving conduct which requires registration under any state law similar to and including California Penal Code Section 290, or of conduct which is a violation of the provisions of any state law similar to and including California Penal Code Sections 266i, 314, 315, 316, 318, 647(a), 647(b), or any crime involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or moral turpitude.

(xii) A complete list of the names and residence addresses of all of the proposed massage therapists and employees practicing in the massage establishment or off-premises massage business and the name of the manager or managing employee proposed to be principally in charge of the operation of the massage establishment or off-premises massage business.

(xiii) A statement in writing by the applicant that he or she certifies under penalty of perjury that all information contained in the application is true and correct, with the declaration being duly dated and signed in the City.

(c) Public Hearings.

(1) In addition to the requirements of Subsection (a) and (b) above, and subsequent to compliance with the provisions of (b), if substantial public protest or adverse information concerning the applicant is received, the Board or upon its direction, an Examiner shall hold a public hearing to gather input from the public before a permit for the operation of a massage business is issued. All relevant information so obtained shall be used by the Board in determining whether or not to issue a massage business permit. Public hearings shall be held in accordance with Chapter X, Article 2, Division 3 of this Code.

(2) (Amended by Ord. No. 173,300, Eff. 6/30/00, Oper. 7/1/00.) Notice of an applicant's intent to establish a massage business shall be given in the following manner:

(i) By at least one publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the City, designated for that purpose by the Office of Finance, not less than 24 days after applying for the permit.

(ii) When a public hearing is scheduled, written notice shall be mailed not less than 24 days prior to the date of such hearing to the applicant, to the owner or owners of the property within and outside the City that is within 300 feet of the area proposed to be subject of the permit application as shown upon the records of the Office of Finance, or in the case of property outside of the City the records of the County Assessor.

(3) Record - The hearing procedure shall be recorded or summarized as directed by the Board. When proceedings are recorded and not summarized, they shall be transcribed at the request of any party or interested person upon the prepayment of a fee, as required by ordinance. One copy of such transcript shall be furnished the Commission to be placed in the files.

(4) Hearings - conducted by whom - The public hearing may be conducted by the Board or an Examiner at its direction. After the conclusion of a public hearing conducted by an Examiner, the Examiner shall submit his report to the Board within such time, which may be fixed by the Board, setting forth his conclusions and recommendations in writing and stating briefly his reasons therefore.

(d) Massage Business - Operating Requirements. No person shall engage in, promote, advertise, conduct, carry on, or permit to be engaged in, promoted, advertised, conducted or carried on, any Massage business unless each and all of the following requirements are met.

(1) Each person employed or acting as a Massage Therapist shall have a valid permit issued by the Board. It shall be unlawful for any owner, operator, responsible managing employee, manager or permittee in charge of or in control of a Massage Business to employ or permit a person to act as a Massage Therapist, as defined in this section, who is not in possession of a valid, unrevoked Massage Therapist permit issued pursuant to this Code.

(2) The possession of a valid Massage Business permit does not authorize the possessor to perform work for which a Massage Therapist permit is required.

(3) Massage operations shall be carried on, and the premises shall be open, only between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.

(4) A list of services available and the cost of such services shall be posted in an open and conspicuous place on the premises. The services shall be described in readily understandable language.

(5) The Massage Business permit, and a copy of the permit of each and every Massage Therapist employed in the establishment, shall be displayed in an open and conspicuous place on the premises.

(6) Every permittee operating a Massage Business under a permit issued pursuant to this Section shall keep a record of the date and hour of each treatment, the name and address of the patron, the name of the employee administering such treatment, and the type of treatment administered. Such record shall be maintained on a professionally printed form provided by the permittee. Such records shall be open to inspection only by Public Health Investigators. The information furnished or secured as a result of any such record shall be confidential. Any unauthorized disclosure or use of such information by an employee of the business or the City or County of Los Angeles shall constitute a misdemeanor, and such employee shall be subject to the penalty provisions of this Code in addition to any other penalties provided by law. Such records shall be maintained for a period of one (1) year.

(7) The Department of Health shall, from time to time, and at least once a year, make an inspection of each Massage Business in the City for the purposes of determining that the health provisions of the laws of the State of California and ordinances of the City and County of Los Angeles and this section are met

(8) The Massage business meets any or all of the following conditions which may, in the discretion of the Board, be imposed on such Business.

(i) A minimum of one (1) tub or shower, and one (1) toilet and wash basin shall be provided for the patrons in every Massage Business location; however, if male and female patrons are to be served simultaneously at said establishment, separate toilet facilities shall be provided for male and female patrons. In those establishments where steam rooms or sauna baths are provided, if male and female patrons are to be served simultaneously, separate steam rooms or sauna rooms shall be provided for male and female patrons. Hot and cold running water under pressure shall be provided to all wash basins, bathtubs, showers, and similar equipment. Each wash basin shall be provided with soap or detergent and sanitary towels placed in permanently installed dispensers. A trash receptacle shall be provided in each toilet room. In addition to the wash basin provided for patrons, a minimum of one separate wash basin shall be provided in each massage establishment. This basin shall provide soap or detergent and hot and cold running water at all times and shall be located within or as close as practicable to the area devoted to the performing of massage services. In addition, there shall be provided at each wash basin, sanitary towels placed in permanently installed dispensers.

EXCEPTION:

If the wash basin for the patrons is not in the toilet room but is adjacent thereto, this wash basin will meet the separate wash basin requirement if it is reasonably close to the area devoted to the performing of massage.

(ii) Minimum ventilation shall be provided in accordance with the Building code of the City of Los Angeles. A light level of no less than 25 watts shall be maintained in public rooms, walkways, and at any point within each room or enclosure where massage services are being performed, and at all times such services are being provided.

(iii) All walls, ceilings, floors, pools, showers, bathtubs, wet and dry heat rooms, steam or vapor rooms, tables and all other physical facilities shall be in good repair and maintained in a clean and sanitary condition. Wet and dry heat rooms, steam or vapor rooms or cabinets, showers, compartments and toilet rooms shall be thoroughly cleaned at least once each day the business is in operation. Bathtubs shall be thoroughly cleaned after each use.

(iv) Clean and sanitary towels, sheets and linens shall be provided for each patron of the establishment or each patron receiving massage services. No common use of towels or linens shall be permitted. Towels, sheets and linens shall be provided in sufficient quantity and shall not be used by more than one (1) person unless they have been first relaundered. Heavy white paper may be substituted for sheets provided that such paper is used one for each person and then discarded into a sanitary receptacle. Separate closed cabinets or containers shall be provided for the storage of clean and soiled linen and shall be plainly marked: "clean linen" and "soiled linen."

(v) Disinfecting agents and sterilizing equipment approved by the Health Department shall be provided for any instruments used in performing any massage.

(vi) Pads used on massage tables shall be covered in a workmanlike manner with durable, washable plastic or other waterproof material acceptable to the Health Department.

(vii) All exterior and interior massage room doors shall remain unlocked during business hours.

(viii) A separate locker shall be provided for each patron to be served, such locker shall be capable of being locked and available at no extra charge.

(ix) No person shall enter, be or remain, in any part of a Massage Business location while in the possession of, consuming, or using any alcoholic beverages or drugs except pursuant to a prescription for such drugs. The owner, operator, responsible managing employee, manager or permittee shall not permit any such person to enter or remain upon such premises.

(x) All employees including Massage Therapists, shall be clean, and shall be fully clothed in clean nontransparent outer garments. As used herein, "fully clothed" shall mean the wearing of undergarments such as bras and underwear as well as the wearing of clothing which is comparable to the clothing commonly worn by nurses and physical therapists while performing their respective professional duties.

(e) Off-Premises Massage Business - Permit Required. No person shall engage in, promote, advertise, conduct, carry on, or permit to be engaged in, promoted, advertised, conducted or carried on, any Off-Premises Massage Business in the City of Los Angeles, without a permit duly issued by the Board pursuant to this subsection for each business location. The permit required hereby shall be in addition to any business tax license required by ordinance.

(1) Application for Permit. Permit Applications shall be made in accordance with the requirements of Chapter X, Article 3, and Section 103.205(b)(2) of this Code.

(2) Operating Requirements. The operating requirements are as set forth in Section 103.205(d) of this Code and the following additional requirements shall apply:

(i) The owner, operator, responsible managing employee, manager or permittee of an Off-Premises Massage Business shall display the permit issued therefore and a true and correct copy of the permit of each and every Massage Therapist employed by the business in an open and conspicuous manner on the business premises and to every customer who requests the information contained in the permits.

(ii) A record of treatment shall be maintained by each Massage Therapist employed by the business.

(iii) No person operating an Off-Premises Massage Business shall employee or allow a person to act as an Off-Premises Massage Therapist unless such person has a valid, unrevoked Massage Therapist permit endorsed by the Board of Police Commissioners for Off-Premises Massage.

(iv) Upon any change of employees, the permittee shall inform the Board within ten (10) days of such change.

(f) Massage Business/Off-Premises Permit Issuance and Denial.

(1) Upon receipt of a written application for a permit to conduct a Massage Business or Off-Premises Massage Business, the Board shall conduct an investigation in order to ascertain whether such permit should be issued as requested. The Board shall approve, conditionally approve, set for an Administrative Hearing or 'File Without Further Action' the application within ninety (90) days of the filing of an application. The Board shall issue such permit as requested unless the Board makes any of the following findings:

(a) Any person, including but not limited to, employees who will be directly engaged or employed in the massage establishment or Off-Premises Massage Business has been convicted or a violation of Health and Safety Code Section 11550 or a violation of Penal Code Section 266i, 315, 316, 318, 647(a) P.C., 647(b), or has been convicted in any other State of any offense which if committed or attempted in this State, would have been punished as one or more of the above mentioned offenses, or that any such person is required to register under the provisions of Penal Code Section 290.

(b) Any person, including, but not limited to, employees who will be directly engaged or employed in the massage establishment or Off-Premises Massage Business who has been convicted of any felony offense involving the sale of a controlled substance specified in Health and Safety Code Sections 11054, 11055, 11056, 11057, or 11058 or has been convicted in any other State of any offense which, if committed or attempted in this State would have been punishable as one or more of the above mentioned offenses.

(c) Any person including, but not limited to, employees who will be directly engaged or employed in the massage establishment or Off-Premises Massage Business, who has committed an act, which, if done by a licensee or permittee under this Chapter, would be grounds for suspension or revocation of a license or permit.

(d) Any person including, but not limited to, employees who will be directly engaged or employed in the massage establishment or Off-Premises Massage Business, who has committed an act involving dishonesty, fraud, or deceit with the intent to substantially benefit himself, herself, or another or substantially to injure another, or an act of violence, which act or acts are substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the massage establishment or Off-Premises Massage Business.

(e) The operations of the massage establishment or Off- Premise Massage Business would, if allowed, constitute a public nuisance.

(f) The applicant has knowingly made a false, misleading, or fraudulent statement of fact to the City in the permit application process.

(g) The application does not contain the information required by this section.

(h) The applicant has not satisfied the requirements of this Code.

(2) Conditions of Permit Issuance. The Board shall condition the issuance of an operator's permit to insure compliance with this section and other applicable laws. Such conditions shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(a) The front door of the massage establishment and the doors of the interior treatment rooms in which massages are being performed must remain unlocked during all hours of operation. No electronic locking device may be utilized on any entrance door. No warning devices such as buzzers may be installed. No locks may be installed on any of the treatment room doors.

(b) No massage therapist/practitioner or employee shall expose his or her genitals, buttocks, or, in the case of a female, her breast nor, in the course of administering a massage, make intentional contact with the genitals or anus of another person.

(c) The massage establishment or Off-Premises Massage Business shall not refuse service on the basis of a customer's sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or other arbitrary factor proscribed by the Unruh Civil Rights Act, Civil Code Section 51 et seq.

(d) The Chief of Police or his authorized representative, and the Los Angeles County Health Department shall have the right to enter each and every part of the massage establishment for the purpose of making unscheduled inspections to observe and enforce compliance with applicable regulations, laws, and provisions of this ordinance. It shall be unlawful for any permittee to fail to allow such inspection officers access to the premises or hinder such officer in any manner.

SEC. 103.205.1. MASSAGE THERAPISTS.

(Amended by Ord. No. 171,994, Eff. 5/31/98.)

(a) Definitions. The words and phrases defined in Section 103.205(a) of this Code, shall have the same meanings when used in this section. In addition thereto, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings when used in this section.

(1) "Off-Premises Massage Therapist" means a person who, for any compensation of any kind, gives a massage to a person at a location other than a place that has a valid and outstanding Massage Business Permit issued pursuant to Section 103.205(b) of this Code.

(b) Massage Therapist — Permit Required. No person shall engage in the business of acting or act as a Massage Therapist unless such person holds a valid Massage Therapist permit issued by the Board. No person shall engage in the business of acting, or act as an Off-Premises Massage Therapist unless such person holds a valid permit issued by the Board and endorsed for Off-Premises work. Persons not licensed by the State of California, to practice pursuant to the Medical Practices Act who are employed by a physician, surgeon, chiropractor, osteopath, acupuncturist, nurse, or other medical practitioner are not exempt under this section.

(1) EXEMPTIONS. This section shall not apply to the following classes of individuals, and no permit shall be required of such persons, while engaged in the performance of the duties of their respective professions:

(i) Physicians, surgeons, chiropractors, osteopaths, acupuncturists, or physical therapists who are duly licensed to practice their respective professions in the State of California.

(ii) Nurses who are registered as such under the laws of the State of California.

(iii) Barbers and beauticians who are duly licensed under the laws of the State of California.

(iv) Athletic trainers employed by or on behalf of a professional athletic team performing or training within this State shall be exempt from the provisions of this act.

(v) Hospitals, nursing homes, sanitariums, or other health care facilities duly licensed by the State of California.

(vi) An exemption granted is effective to the extent that an exempted person's practice or profession overlaps with the practice of massage.

(2) Additional Requirements. In addition to those requirements specified in Chapter X, Article 3, Division 3 of this Code, each applicant for a Massage Therapist permit shall furnish the following information to the Board prior to the issuance of a permit, but subsequent to applicant's having taken and passed the examination provided for in Section 103.205.1(b) (3).

(i) Each residence and business address of applicant for the five (5) years immediately preceding the date of the application, and the inclusive dates of each such address.

(ii) Written proof that the applicant is at least eighteen (18) years of age.

(iii) Applicant's height, weight, color of eyes and hair.

(iv) Three (3) photographs of applicant, of a size specified by the Board, taken within the six (6) months immediately preceding the date of application.

(v) Applicant's business, occupation and employment history for the five (5) years immediately preceding the date of application.

(vi) The permit history of the applicant; whether applicant has ever had any license or permit issued by any agency or Board, City, County or State revoked or suspended, or has had any professional or vocational license or permit revoked or suspended, and the reason therefore.

(vii) A certificate from a medical doctor, licensed to practice in the State of California, issued within thirty (30) days, that certifies that applicant has been examined and had no communicable disease on the date of the examination.

(viii) Such other identification and information as may be required by the Board.

(ix) Beginning on the effective date of this ordinance all applicants applying for a massage therapy permit, shall show proof of completion of a minimum of 150 hours of training at a state approved school of massage. Beginning January 1, 2000, all applicants thereafter shall show proof of completion of 300 hours of training at a state approved school of massage.

(x) All criminal convictions excluding traffic misdemeanors or infraction violations, shall be reported.

(xi) Each applicant must furnish a diploma or certificate and transcript of graduation from an approved school wherein the method, profession, anatomical and physiological knowledge and practice of a massage therapist are taught. The term "approved school" shall mean and include any school or institute of learning licensed by the State of California and approved by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction pursuant to Education Code Section 94311D and reviewed by the superintendent within the preceding twelve month period which school has for its purpose teaching of theory, the method, profession, or work of massage therapists and which school requires a resident course of study of not less than 150 hours or 300 hours beginning January 1, 2000. Schools offering a correspondence course not requiring actual attendance shall not be deemed a recognized school. The City of Los Angeles shall have the right to confirm that the applicant has actually attended a class in a State approved school. If requested, the applicant must also supply a course description, an outline of material covered, a certified transcript and a letter to the City from the school administrator verifying completion or alternative documentation of education completed as verified and approved by the City, Board, or its agents and employees, in cases where the school no longer is in business. The Board may consider an applicants study of massage completed outside the State of California if proof of completion of a formalized course of study in massage practice, anatomy, and physiology is provided upon application. Proof of completion shall include, but not be limited to dates of study, the name of the school attended and the address and phone number of the school attended. Any outside course of study submitted for approval shall meet the State of California's Office of Post Secondary Education minimum requirements and the City of Los Angeles' permit requirements. The provisions of this subsection may be satisfied by proof satisfactory to the Board that the applicant has graduated from an educational institution licensed or approved by another State and having equivalent standards as provided herein, or by proof that the applicant has passed the examination administered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.

(xii) Authorization for the City, Board, its agents and employees to seek verification of the information contained in the application and qualification of the applicant for the permit.

(xiii) A statement in writing by the applicant that he or she certifies under penalty of perjury that all information contained in the application is true and correct, said declaration being duly dated and signed in the City.

(3) Annual Medical Certificate. Each Massage Therapist shall annually at the time of the renewal of his or her permit supply the Board with a new medical certificate required by Section 103.205.1(b) (2) (vii) of this Code.

(c) Massage Therapist Permit Issuance and Denial.

(1) Upon receipt of written application for a permit, the Board shall conduct an investigation to ascertain whether such permit should be issued as requested. The permit shall be denied if the Board makes any of the following findings:

(a) The applicant has been convicted of a violation of Health and Safety Code Section 11550 or a violation of Penal Code Sections 266i, 315, 316, 318, 647(a) or 647(b), or has been convicted in any other state of any offense which if committed or attempted in this state, would have been punished as one or more of the above mentioned offenses, or that any such person is required to register under the provisions of Penal Code Section 290.

(b) The applicant has been convicted of a felony offense involving the sale of a controlled substance specified in Health and Safety Code Sections 11054, 11055, 11056, 11057 or 11058 or has been convicted in any other state of any offense which, if committed or attempted in this state would have been punishable as one or more of the above mentioned offenses.

(c) The applicant has committed an act, which, if done by a permittee under this section, would be grounds for suspension or revocation of a permit.

(d) The applicant has committed an act involving dishonesty, fraud, or deceit with the intent to substantially benefit himself, herself, or another or substantially to injure another, or an act of violence, which act or acts are substantially related to the qualifications functions, or duties of the Massage Therapist.

(e) The applicant has knowingly made a false, misleading, or fraudulent statement of fact to the City in the permit application process.

(f) The applicant has not satisfied the requirements of this Code.

(e) Operative Date – Massage Therapists. All persons operating or employed as masseurs or masseuses in Massage establishments at the time this ordinance becomes effective shall obtain a Massage Therapist Permit within one year of the effective date of this ordinance.

(a) Every massage therapist/practitioner licensed pursuant to Section 103.205.1 shall be required for renewal in 2001 and each subsequent renewal thereafter, to complete 6 contact hours of continuing education courses approved by the Board. Such courses shall have been completed within the 12 months preceding the date the renewal is due.

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