The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently warning both tattoo parlors and people who want to get inked that not all ink is safe.
White and Blue Lion Inc., a company based in California, recalled inks from in-home tattoo kits last month after finding a bacterial contamination in some of the unopened bottles. Currently, one skin infection has been linked directly to the company.
According to the FDA, White and Blue Lion Inc. might not be the only company putting out contaminated products. Some other ink bottles on the market reportedly are missing manufacturer labels, giving customers clear warnings about the safety of them. Other bottles of ink to be wary of have a Chinese dragon image on the front, the FDA noted.
The FDA has said anyone getting a tattoo should make sure to look at the bottles of ink, just to double check that they are safe. Make sure the manufacturer’s information is clearly displayed on the bottle, and that a product number and “best buy” date is visible.
“What the consumer can do is talk to the tattoo artist and see the ink bottles,” said Linda Katz, director of the FDA’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors.
Skin infections caused by tattoo ink are not incredibly uncommon. Even in clean environments, a possibly deadly infection can occur, as ink can carry bacteria throughout the bloodstream in a process knows as sepsis. On top of that, dirty and reused needles can also spread disease and infection, the FDA warned.