FDA alerts tattoo artists about fatally infected inks

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Some pretty nasty and health-threatening shit was found by Food & Drug Administration (FDA) inspectors at two businesses that produced tattoo inks.  Tattoo artists are being warned not to use black and red inks from Dynamic Color, Inc. and Color Art, Inc. (dba Solid Ink) because they’re contaminated with food and animal bacteria.  The official term is “microbial contamination.”

Skin infections from contaminated tattoo inks can be serious, according to the FDA.

The contamination violates the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to market an adulterated cosmetic in interstate commerce [21 U.S.C. 331(a)].  One of the ways a cosmetic becomes adulterated is if “it contains a poisonous or deleterious substance that may render the product injurious to users under the conditions of use prescribed in the labeling thereof, or under such conditions of use as are customary or usual” [21 U.S.C. 361(a)]. Such a “poisonous or deleterious substance” may include microbial contamination.”

Do not use black tattoo ink supplied in bottles like this one.

The three contaminated “lots” of inks manufactured by the two companies are identified specifically by the FDA as follows:

  • Dynamic Color Inc. recalls Dynamic Color BLK (Black) tattoo ink – Lot #12026090; EXP 09/06/2021; 803 bottles/8 oz. each. Recall Number: F-1236-2019. Product may be contaminated with bacillus cereus.
  • Dynamic Color Inc. recalls Dynamic Color BLK (Black) tattoo ink – Lot #12024090; EXP 09/04/2021; 803 bottles/8 oz. each. Recall Number: F-1237-2019. Product may be contaminated with bacillus cereus, staphylococcus equorum, and kocuria kristinae.
  • Color Art, Inc. DBA Solid Ink recalls Solid Ink Brand DIABLO (Red) color in a 2 oz. bottle; Lot number 10.19.18, EXP 10.2022. CI# 21160-56110-12467. 60 bottles/2 oz. each. Recall Number: F-1223-2019. Product may have microbial contamination.

The three bacteria identified are sourced to Swiss cheese, horses, fried rice left out too long and mammal skin.  Bacillus cereus could be fatal. 

Red tattoo ink supplied in bottles that look like this has been contaminated with staph and two other food and animal contaminants.

Customers are advised to ask tattoo artists to identify the inks they’re using.  Tattoo artists are being advised not to use the contaminated inks.

Customers who have become infected or injured after being inked should visit their physician and let the artist know.   The FDA is also encouraging customers to report injuries and infections to MedWatch: FDA’s Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program

Eric Jonathan Brewer

Cleveland's most influential journalist and East Cleveland's most successful mayor is an East Saint Louis, Illinois native whose father led the city's petition drive in 1969 to elect the first black mayor in 1971. Eric is an old-school investigative reporter whose 40-year body of editorial work has been demonstrably effective. No local journalist is feared or respected more.

Trained in newspaper publishing by the legendary Call & Post Publisher William Otis Walker in 1978 when it was the nation's 5th largest Black-owned publication, Eric has published and edited 13 local, regional and statewide publications across Ohio. Adding to his publishing and reporting resume is Eric's career in government. Eric served as the city's highest paid part-time Special Assistant to ex-Cleveland Mayor Michael R. White. He served as Chief of Staff to ex-East Cleveland Mayor Emmanuel Onunwor; and Chief of Communications to the late George James in his capacity as the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority's first Black executive director. Eric was appointed to serve as a member of the state's Financial Planning & Supervision Commission to guide the East Cleveland school district out of fiscal emergency and $20 million deficit. Former U.S. HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson told Eric in his D.C. office he was the only mayor in the nation simultaneously-managing a municipal block grant program. Eric wrote the city's $2.2 million Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant application. A HUD Inspector General audit of his management of the block grant program resulted in "zero" audit findings.

As a newspaper publisher, Eric has used his insider's detailed knowledge of government and his publications to lead the FBI and state prosecutors to investigations that resulted in criminal prosecutions of well-known elected officials in Ohio; and have helped realign Cleveland's political landscape with the defeat of candidates and issues he's exposed. Eric's stories led to the indictments of the late Governor George Voinovich's brother, Paul Voinovich of the V Group, and four associates. He asked the FBI to investigate the mayor he'd served as chief of staff for public corruption; and testified in three federal trials for the prosecution. He forced former Cuyahoga County Coroner Dr. Elizabeth Balraj to admit her investigations of police killings were fraudulent; and to issue notices to local police that her investigators would control police killing investigations. Eric's current work has resulted in Cuyahoga County Judge John Russo accepting the criminal complaint he guided an activist to file against 24 civil rights-violating police officers in the city he once led for operating without valid peace officer credentials. USA Today reporters picked up on Eric's police credentials reporting from his social media page and made it national.

Eric is the author of of his first book, "Fight Police License Plate Spying," which examines the FBI and local police misuse of the National Crime Information Center criminal records history database. An accomplished trumpet player and singer whose friendship with Duke Fakir of the Four Tops resulted in his singing the show's closing song, "Can't Help Myself": Curtis Sliwa of New York's Guardian Angels counts Eric among his founding chapter leaders from the early 1980's role as an Ohio organizer of over 300 volunteer crime fighters in Cleveland, Columbus and Youngstown, Ohio. For his work as a young man Eric was recognized by Cleveland's Urban League as it's 1983 Young Man of the Year.

Known in Cleveland for his encyclopedic knowledge of government and history, and intimately-connected with the region's players, every local major media outlet in Cleveland has picked up on one of Eric's stories since 1979. There is no mainstream newspaper, television or radio outlet in Cleveland that does not include an interview with Eric Jonathan Brewer in its archives over the past 40 years.