There have been a few times in my life that I thought about getting a tattoo. When I was doing my undergrad in molecular biology and genetics, I often talked about getting a double helix on my shoulder. I didn’t.
More recently I’ve thought about getting a digital thermometer on each of my forearms. I haven’t yet.
FDA’s announcement of multiple tattoo inks contaminated with microbes has caused me to take pause again. But, like with food recalls I’m left with as many questions than answers: what microbes? How did they get contaminated? Is this a GMP issue?
The FDA has become aware of contaminated tattoo inks through its FY2018-2019 inspections of distributors and manufacturers, routine surveys of marketed tattoo inks, and subsequent microbiological analysis of sampled tattoo inks. The FDA has identified 6 tattoo inks contaminated with bacteria harmful to human health. The tattoo inks were manufactured or distributed by 4 firms inspected under an ongoing assignment.
The following tattoo inks have been recalled because they are contaminated with microorganisms:
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)