Contaminated Tattoo Ink Warning is Issued by the Food and Drug Administration
If you are thinking about getting a tattoo, you might want to think again after a warning from the Food and Drug Administration about contaminated ink that can cause serious health problems.
The FDA has cautioned tattoo parlors, their customers and people buying at-home tattoo kits that not all tattoo ink is safe.
Associated Press reported the advice comes after the California company White and Blue Lion Inc. recalled its in-home tattoo kits after testing confirmed the presence of bacterial contamination in unopened bottles.
The company says at least one skin infection has been linked to its products, and FDA officials are aware of other issues. The AP report pointed to some potentially serious conditions that can be linked to tattoos.
Infections linked to tattooing include hepatitis, staph infections and even the superbug known as MRSA. Dirty needles and unclean environments are often to blame.
The new warning raises the prospect of infections in clean conditions if the ink is infected. AP reports the ink can contain bacteria that can spread through the bloodstream — a process known as sepsis.
Some of the potential symptoms are serious and could even prove deadly. Symptoms include shaking, fever, chills and sweats, and the risk is especially high for anyone with a pre-existing heart or circulatory condition. Less severe infections could involve bumps on the skin, redness, discharge, swelling, blisters or excessive pain.
Last year the Huffington Post noted as many as one in five of all Americans has a tattoo. It noted some of the conditions associated with contaminated tattoo ink include lung disease, joint infection, eye problems and other organ infections.
The FDA says some symptoms may not be apparent until years after the tattoo.
Some recalled bottles bear a multicolored Chinese dragon image with black-and-white lettering, while others are missing manufacturer information. FDA warns people looking to get a tattoo should always ensure that the ink has a brand name and a location of the business that manufactured it.
Permanent tattoos aren’t the only tattoos that carry risk. An FDA alert earlier this year warned that temporary tattoos of the kind used by kids at holiday destinations can be dangerous. The main risk is from black henna. The ink can combine with natural red henna and can include chemicals that can cause dangerous skin reactions.
If you have been harmed by tattoo ink you may have grounds to bring a lawsuit against a manufacturer or a tattoo parlor where you received your tattoo. See our questions and answers about product liability or call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 757.455.0077.