FDA Warning Over Bacteria Contamination of Unopened Tattoo Ink Bottles

FDA Warning Over Bacteria Contamination of Unopened Tattoo Ink Bottles

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning over bacteria contamination in unopened bottles of certain tattoo inks.
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning over bacteria contamination in unopened bottles of certain tattoo inks.

The FDA says they became aware of a problem after testing inks in home use tattoo kits marketed by White and Blue Lion, Inc. FDA has confirmed bacterial contamination in unopened bottles of the company’s inks.

“Tattooing poses a risk of infection to anyone, but the risk is particularly high for those with pre-existing heart or circulatory disease, diabetes or compromised immune systems,” Linda Katz, M.D., M.P.H., director of FDA’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors, said.

Signs of localized infection include redness, swelling, weeping wounds, blemishes, or excessive pain at the site. If you experience any of these signs, seek medical care right away.

White and Blue Lion, Inc. recalled the contaminated products on July 11, 2014, but the FDA say they're concerned consumers and professional tattoo artists may be purchasing or using contaminated home tattoo kits and inks from other distributors.

FDA advises you to watch out for inks intended for permanent makeup or traditional body tattoos that:
  • have no brand name, carry a dragon logo, and/or are missing the name and place of business of the manufacturer or distributor,
  • are sold singly and in kits containing anywhere from five to 54, or perhaps more, bottles of inks of various colors, and
  • are marked with “Lotch” [sic] and Batch numbers, and “Date produced” and “Best if used by” dates.

The FDA also advises consumers and tattoo artists to do the following:

  • Seek immediate medical care if you experience any signs of infection.
  • Don’t use tattoo inks and kits that have no brand name, carry a dragon logo, and/or are missing the name and place of business of the manufacturer or distributor.
  • Dispose of tattoo inks that meet this description.
  • Do not use recalled kits.
  • Report adverse events or side effects through FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.
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