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California company recalling tattoo ink, needles due to risk of infection

California company recalls tattoo ink, needles due to risk of infection
California company recalls tattoo ink, needles due to risk of infection
Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

A word of caution if you’re planning on getting some new ink any time soon: a California company is voluntarily recalling a variety of its tattooing products after a test determined that they contained microbial bacterial contamination.

Denver’s KDVR notes on Tuesday that Industry, California-based White & Blue Lion, Inc. is recalling all lots of its tattoo inks and needles due to the risk of bacterial infection. An official announcement listing codes and product information for the items being recalled was released by the FDA, which you can see here. The inks and needles are sold in tattoo kits as well as individually and are distributed by the company 8Decades and White & Blue Lion itself.

The FDA conducted a lab test that found the contamination and says the bacterial infection that can be caused by using the products could also lead to sepsis, a “potentially life-threatening” inflammatory complication. As of last Friday, there was one illness tied to use of the contaminated products. Consumers with questions about the recall are instructed to call 1-626-586-3485 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. PST on weekdays.

In other tattoo-related news, even though plenty of people still sport ink, the rate of tattoo removals has actually increased over the last decade. According to the Wall Street Journal’s Marketwatch, the revenue brought in for getting rid of those ill-advised tats is around $75.5 million per year, an increase of about 440 percent over the last 10 years. Revenue is also expected to reach $83.2 million in the next four years.

One of the more high-profile (and recent) examples of tattoo removal is actress Melanie Griffith, who removed the name of estranged husband Antonio Banderas from inside the heart tattooed on her right arm. She later appeared on the red carpet and the tattoo appeared to have been removed altogether.