August 5, 2015 — The FDA has issued a recall for tattoo ink sold by “A Thousand Virgins” Corp. because it is contaminated with bacteria and fungus and could cause an infection.
The recall involves “A Thousand Virgins” grey wash inks (G1, G2, and G3) labeled with Lot #129 and bearing the expiration date of 1/16.
The FDA confirmed that they were contaminated with the bacteria Mycobacterium chelonae and Microbacterium organisms. They were also contaminated with the molds Cryptococcus albidus and fungus in the Penicillium genus.
The FDA warns:
“Use of these products may cause bacterial infection and can lead to sepsis, a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection.”
No laboratory analyses have matched microorganisms from the ink to any cases of infection. However, people who get a tattoo with contaminated ink could potentially develop very serious reactions.
Last month, California-based tattoo ink company White & Blue Lion recalled inks sold for do-it-yourself tattoo kits after bacteria was found in unopened bottles. At least one skin infection was linked to the company’s products. The FDA said it was aware of other infections linked to products with similar packaging.
The cleanliness of a tattoo parlor does not matter if the inks themselves are contaminated. The inks can transmit bacteria to the bloodstream and cause a whole-body inflammatory reaction known as sepsis. Less serious infection can cause bumps, discharge, redness, swelling, pain, and disfigurement of the tattoo.
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