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Infections from Contaminated Tattoo Ink Continue to Increase

Jason Reese

Tattoo Ink is Popular on FDA Recall Lists

The Food and Drug Administration has long been warning tattoo parlors, their customers and those buying at-home tattoo kits that not all tattoo ink is safe. The FDA most commonly identifies microbiological contamination in unopened tattoo inks as the reason to pull the harmful products. Reports of infections continue to increase as tattoos have become more popular over the years. This month alone, the FDA’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors recalled five Fusion Ink, LLC Tattoo inks due to microbial contamination.

Why Contaminated Ink is Dangerous

Serious infections in the skin can happen even in the cleanest and most professional tattoo parlor conditions. This is because tattoo ink can carry bottled up bacteria that easily spreads through the bloodstream causing sepsis.

Symptoms for sepsis include fever, shaking chills and sweats. This infection risk is particularly high for anyone with pre-existing heart or circulatory conditions. Other infected people may see symptoms like rash, blisters or bumps on the skin, discharge, redness, swelling, or excessive pain at the tattoo site. Serious infections can require months of treatment with a variety of antibiotics or even hospitalization or surgery. The FDA says it has received reports of bad reactions to tattoo inks right after tattooing as well as years later.

If you do suspect an infection, first, contact your doctor or other health care professional. If they confirm the area has been infected, you will want to notify the tattoo artist so he or she can identify the ink that was used, and avoid using it again. Plus, you can ask the tattoo artist for detailed information on the brand, color, and any lot or batch information that may be useful in determining the source of the problem and how to treat it. You are also encouraged to provide as much detail as possible about the ink and your reaction and outcome to the FDA. Reports from consumers are important sources of safety information and raising your voice can help alert other victims and prevent future incidences from occurring.

The Law Is Behind Your Tattoo Ink

Basically, the law requires manufacturers to ensure their products are safe, both in design and manufacturing, and it also prevents those same companies from marketing their products for any non-FDA-approved uses, known as “off-label marketing.”

For the many people who have had their physical or psychological health compromised by defective tattoo ink, they deserve to receive compensation for any medical or psychological treatment needed to regain their quality of life back, and receive compensation for their lost wages.

In general, the FDA says those looking to get a tattoo should always ensure that the ink has a brand name and a location of the business that manufactured it. So, we suggest talking to the tattoo artist to see the ink bottles and do your research on the brand and color before any permanent tattoo bodywork begins.

We Want To Know About Your Defective Tattoo Ink

Defective product cases are complex and can place consumers in a vulnerable place. Our experienced defective drug, product liability, and medical malpractice attorneys at Wagner Reese can help restore the balance of power, providing you the legal support and advice you need so that you can focus on your own health and healing.

Connect with us by submitting our online form, and our attorneys will review your information, and respond promptly. If you wish to speak directly with us, please call (888) 204-8440.


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