Tara R. Perti, MD, the physician who treated the patients and grew the bacteria in culture. noted that the ink used probably wasn't a commercial product, because other cases would have shown up by now.
After investigation and research, Duchin explained, public health officials narrowed the source down to contaminated tap water, which was used to dilute the inks.
One of the lessons from this finding, Duchin says, is that currently "there are no industry-wide standards for optimal tattoo procedures, although there are some guidelines from different groups. But there's nothing required, and no real guideline about whether tap water should or shouldn't be used."
On the basis of this, he said, "we recommend tap water should not be used to dilute inks used for tattoos."