Health experts looking into the outbreak of skin infections in four American states last fall revealed that contaminated tattoo ink was the culprit behind more than 22 skin and soft tissue infections.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that it has so far identified 22 confirmed cases of infections with an additional 27 possible cases and 4 probable cases in Iowa, New York, Washington and Colorado.
The report revealed that four companies have been implicated during the investigation and the ink got contaminated by the bacteria when distilled or reverse-osmosis water was used. The largest outbreak was in New York where 19 people suffered from an infection caused by bacteria known as Mycobacterium chelonae which led to formation of reddish or purple raised bumps in the area which was tattooed.
FDA's director of the Office of Cosmetics and Colors, Linda Katz said that the public needs to be aware that the ink used for the tattoos are not regulated by the FDA and even if the tattoo parlor takes full precaution, there are still ways through which people may suffer from health problems. "It appears that probably in this case it was diluted with tap water or non-sterile water, but we're not sure. In this case, there have been no inks, as of now, that have been approved for use in tattoos", she said.