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Infections From Tattoos Spark FDA Warnings

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, August 23, 2012

"Importantly, no dilution or mixing of inks at the parlor occurred and the artist avoided contamination of ink from tap water at the facility."

The FDA officials said in the accompanying Perspective article that while tattoo inks are considered cosmetics, the FDA does not have the authority to require premarketing submission of safety data from manufacturers, distributors or marketers of cosmetic products.

However, the FDA "can request that a manufacturer recall violative products and issue advisory letters." It also can ask the Department of Justice to conduct seizures, enjoin a firm or person from manufacturing or distributing products, or file criminal charges against a firm or responsible person on behalf of the FDA.

Thursday's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report contains further information and background about the problem of infectious microbes in tattoo inks.

Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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