Tattoo Ink and Needles Recalled

As tattoos become increasingly common in the United States, their safety demands thorough attention and review. In addition to an illness as is suspected in one case involving California-based White & Blue Lion, Inc., tattoos performed with defective or dangerous needles or inks can potentially lead to scarring, infection, allergies, MRI complications, and granulomas. While there is always a risk of contracting a disease or suffering from side effects while undergoing a tattoo procedure at either a home or licensed tattoo business, experiencing complications following a “tattoo party” at an individual’s residence is often more common.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced on July 14, 2014 that multiple lots of tattoo needles and inks sold by a company over the Internet have been pulled from the market due to potential bacterial contamination. White & Blue Lion issued the voluntary recall for all of the company’s tattoo kits, inks, and needles. The products are sold separately by White & Blue Lion and 8Decades through

FDA officials warned that the recalled inks and needles may cause a bacterial infection that can ultimately lead to sepsis, a life-threatening complication of an infection. Laboratory testing conducted by the FDA determined that microbial bacterial contamination was present in both the needles and the inks, according to agency officials. This data suggests that Mycobacterium can be ruled out as one of the contaminants. There has been at least one confirmed illness connected with the products as of July 11, 2014.

In Dayton, Ohio at Cloak and Dagger Tattoo Studio, tattoo artist Jeremy McGrady said that White & Blue Lion is not a major supplier of tattoo needles and ink to the industry. McGrady also stated that he had never heard of the company, acknowledging that he is familiar with most of the larger manufacturers. McGrady suspects that the only people who would be impacted by the voluntary recall are those who are making the decision to perform or receive tattoos from homes rather than licensed tattoo parlors.

Similarly, River City Tattoo Company in Iowa was questioned about the recall and stated that it does not use tools or products manufactured by White & Blue Lion, asserting that the needles and inks in the shop are always highly certified. According to Keegan Rocha, the shop manager, the business takes pride in its work and considers itself professional.

The products involved in the July 2014 recall by White & Blue Lion include a multi-colored Chinese Dragon Image tattoo kit with black and white lettering with Lot No. OR20036, Batch #8, in a 5-milliliter bottle. The tattoo needles affected by the recall are sold in packages of five and they bear the label “CE0197 Pre-made tattoo needle.”

As an added precaution, the company is also pulling its ink cups and tubes from the market. The full recall is being made with FDA knowledge. Consumers are urged to contact White & Blue Lion for more information, according to FDA officials.