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Think before you ink: FDA recall of inks and needles used in home kits

COVINGTON, Ky. (Joe Webb) -- Mark Arts of Arts Ink was busy touching up a Cincinnati Bengals' tattoo when Local 12 caught up with him Friday.
Thursday, he got a letter from the northern Kentucky Health Department that announced an ink and needle recall.  Arts said he's glad the word was getting out on the home kits mentioned by the FDA.  Like the police, who collect and display the guns and drug paraphernalia they confiscate, Arts collects the cheap, home tattoo supplies he finds.

"They're just bad news. They're practice kits and they're made to practice on those little pads that come with them. They're not made to use on your best friend," said Arts.  "You can get infections. You can get mersa. You can get hep.  Anything can happen."
 And anything does.  Arts said he sees fouled up home tattoos every day.  The artists in tattoo parlors have to be licensed. Shops must be routinely inspected by the health department.  He said home tattoos are dangerous and illegal.

"I can't go home and tattoo even though I have a license and stuff.  My license is for tattooing here in my health department-approved shop," explained Arts.
Ironically, Arts was in the shop working on a home tattoo a client wanted improved.  Tom Green has had his share of bad experiences with home tattoos.  He covered up one on his neck.  He was having it laser-removed.  Infection wasn't the problem, spelling was.

Green said, "It was supposed to say, 'Frances, daddy's little girl' and in the end it said, 'Francese, daddy's little grill.'" 

The FDA said the recalled materials can cause bacterial infections and a potentially organ killing blood condition called sepsis.  There has been one reported illness tied to the tattoo products. 

The recall was a voluntary recall by the Food and Drug Administration.  It applied to tattoo kits and inks sold by White and Blue Lion and 8 Decades.  The products were sold on Amazon and E-Bay.  It applied to all colors but especially to the Chinese dragon image with black and white lettering.
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