PORTLAND, Ore. - The buzz inside Blacklist Gallery and Tattoo on Portland’s Northeast Broadway Avenue isn't just from the machine putting tattoo ink under Nikki Burian's skin.
“It was kind of a shocker for sure,” says Burian.
The word's out about the voluntary recall of bottles of tattoo ink, and tattooing needles, sold directly to the public through Amazon and other web retailers by a California company called White and Blue Lion.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about the recall.
Burian isn't just a customer, she also works at a tattoo ink distributor.
“Anyone can get anything from anywhere and tattoo themselves,” says Burian, “I have at least five people a week coming into my shop who are unlicensed or not employed by a legitimate shop.”
Some of the recalled ink and needles were in home self-tattooing kits.
The products could be contaminated with bacteria that can cause hard-to-treat skin and blood infections, which could take years to develop.
“Not trying to do it yourself with tattoos is probably a good thing,” says Blacklist shop owner Tim Dutton.
Dutton uses the best tattoo ink he can find, and says that even if you want to try tattooing at home, talk to professionals first.
“We can tell you what's right. We can tell you what's wrong,” says Dutton. “We can refer you to people who will do a certain kind of tattooing that maybe we don't do here. They use the right sort of stuff. So most shops work together to make sure everybody's doing something right and not doing damage in the fact of doing tattoos.”