FDA Recalls Three Types of Tattoo Inks Contaminated With Microorganisms

Three types of tattoo inks were recalled by the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday because they are contaminated with microorganisms.

In a statement released by the agency, consumers, tattoo artists, and retailers were warned of serious injury associated with using the tainted inks. The microorganisms can cause skin infections and even permanent scarring.

"Tattoo 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 statement said.

The following tattoo inks were recalled by the FDA:

  • Scalpaink SC, Scalpaink PA, and Scalpaink AL basic black tattoo inks manufactured by Scalp Aesthetics (all lots)
  • Dynamic Color - Black tattoo ink manufactured by Dynamic Color Inc (lots 12024090 and 12026090)
  • Solid Ink-Diablo (red) tattoo ink manufactured by Color Art Inc. (dba Solid Ink) (dba Antone's Ink) (lot 10.19.18)

Symptoms of tattoo-ink-related infections include the appearance of rashes or lesions consisting of red papules in areas where the contaminated ink was applied. Symptoms can be often hard to distinguish between other conditions (such as allergies) which could lead to misdiagnosis and ineffective treatments, the agency added.

The agency recommended that anyone seeking to get a tattoo in the near future ask the artist or studio which inks they use and to avoid any of the tattoo inks listed in the recall. The FDA became aware of the tainted tattoo inks through routine surveys of marketed tattoo inks and subsequent tests of samples taken.

The agency said they're working with manufacturers and retailers to remove the contaminated inks from the market.

Photo: Getty Images

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