Posted by: D.N. Shropshire, MA
…the CDC finds that two Seattle men developed skin infections in 2009, likely caused by a type of bacteria that has not been previously linked to tattooing.
The culprit may have been the municipal water source used by the tattoo parlor, the CDC study [PDF] finds. “The patrons were thought to have been exposed through use of tap water during rinsing and diluting of inks,” study author Meagan K. Kay told U.S. News and World Report. A follow-up investigation did not find M. haemophilum in water samples or on surfaces in the parlor, but water is considered a reservoir for the bacteria, according to the study.
The study authors also note that while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates the inks and pigments used in tattooing, the rules apply only when cosmetics or color additives are involved. Tattooing itself is not considered a sterile procedure and is not federally regulated.