Scleral tattoos have received more and more attention on the internet, especially after a Canadian model had lost sight in her eye because of the ink. These scleral tattoos scratch or dye the white outer layer of the eyeball, or the sclera, and come with a host of risks.
This is why a Washington House committee was proposed a bill to ban tattoo artists from inking the whites of your eyes.
According to The Spokesman, “Just the description of the tattoos made some members of the House Health Care and Wellness Committee shudder.”
Eileen Cody, a Democratic Chairwoman, said, “Everybody’s creeped out by this.”
The bill would ban on the eye-ink practice and provide a civil penalty up to $10,000 for those who disobey.
Aaron Lee, a member of the Washington Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons, advocates for risk-awareness with these kinds of tattoos.
“The needle used for the tattoo could puncture the cornea, damage or detach the retina or introduce an infection that could only be treated by removing the eye,” Lee said.
As Lee thinks the dangers pose warrant for legislative action, he also brings up that physicians sometimes transplant sclera or graft over damaged areas, but there is no medical reason for marking or dyeing the whites of an eye a different color.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology reports that Oklahoma and Indiana, as well as the Canadian province of Ontario have banned scleral tattoos.
“Of all the bills you have this year, I hope this is the easiest,” Lee said.
The committee is scheduled to vote on the bill Friday.