The FDA has issued a voluntary recall for tattoo ink produced by A Thousand Virgins Corp. The inks that are being recalled are grey wash G1, G2 and G3 that are labeled Lot #129 with the expiration date of 1/16. After testing the ink an FDA laboratory found microbial contamination in the inks. This means that there were potentially pathogenic organisms discovered.
After a series of mycobacterial infections were reported among people who had recently been tattooed in South Florida, the FDA launched the investigation alongside the Florida Department of Health. In their research they found that some of the inks contained Mycobacterium chelonae, and a recall was issued by the Miami-based A Thousand Virgins Corp. While bacteria was found the FDA has said in a statement that there is still no evidence linking the ink directly to the infections.
Tattoo artists who have any of the recalled ink are advised to stop using it immediately; likewise, tattoo consumers should be a little wary and make sure that their artist isn't using one of the recalled inks. If you happen to have some of the recalled ink the FDA recommends disposing of it in the following manner: place the closed bottle of ink into a plastic bag and seal or tie it in order to prevent leakage. Then place this bag into a second bag and tie that one off to be doubly sure that nothing leaks. You will need to check with your local waste disposal company to see if the ink can then be thrown into the garbage or if further steps need to be taken.
It is unusual for the FDA to issue a recall of tattoo ink, primarily because it is unusual for them to even be inspecting tattoo inks. Tattoo ink does not fall under the jurisdiction of the FDA and is, for the most part, relatively unregulated.