Six tattoo inks have been recalled because they’re contaminated with bacteria and could lead to infection that poses a serious health risk, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.
While this tattoo have been recalled for about a year, the U.S. and Australia are cracking down in 2021 because many of these inks are still being used.
In a crackdown, the laws introduced to State Parliament by Treasurer Cameron Dick would make it illegal to sell ink or tattoo someone without a “compliant analysis certificate”.
Only four of the 49 inks complied with European standards. Non-compliant components of the ink included barium, copper, mercury, amines and some colourants.
“There are concerns that people tattooed with these inks may be at an increased risk of developing cancer,” Mr Dick said.
When it comes to cancer, black ink can be especially dangerous because it contains a very high level of benzo(a)pyrene. Benzo(a)pyrene is currently listed as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Health officials and researchers are especially concerned about the effects of black tattoo ink, as it is the most commonly used color for tattooing.
The recalled inks include: all lots of Scalpaink SC, Scalpaink PA and Scalpaink AL basic black inks made by Scalp Aesthetics; lots 12024090 and 12026090 of Dynamic Color – Black tattoo ink made by by Dynamic Color Inc.; and lot 10.19.18 of Solid Ink-Diablo (red) tattoo ink made by Color Art Inc. (dba Solid Ink) (dba Antone’s Ink).
Consumers should ask their tattoo artist or studio about the inks they use and avoid the recalled inks, the FDA said.
Symptoms of tattoo-ink-associated infections include rashes or lesions in areas where the ink has been applied. This type of infection can be difficult to recognize because other conditions, such as allergic reactions, may initially have similar signs and symptoms.
Some tattoo infections can result in permanent scarring.
If you’ve had symptoms of infection or injury after getting a tattoo, see a health care professional and inform your tattoo artist, the FDA said.
The government became aware of the contaminated ink after inspecting tattoo ink manufacturers and distributors and collecting survey information. The FDA analyzed samples of tattoo inks to evaluate consumers’ risks.
It now says the inks have the “potential for serious injury.” The new statement explains that “[t]attoo inks contaminated with microorganisms can cause infections and lead to serious health injuries when injected into the skin during a tattooing procedure, since there is an increased risk of infection any time the skin barrier is broken.”
The four companies that manufactured the contaminated inks are currently being monitored by the