So recently I’ve gotten a few private messages about some tattoo ink being recalled because it’s water was contaminated with a bunch of gross crap that was giving people hideous infections.

First I’m going to assure you, we didn’t use that ink. So if we’ve tattooed you, you can feel assured that you’re safe.

Second, most people who have been tattooed by us also know what maniacs we are about sanitation and having the highest quality products.
Having contaminated ink is not even in the realm of possibility for us. It won’t happen. We take great care to follow rules and regulations and only order ink from small American companies (who we personally know, and know are sanitary.)

What was the problem? Why did it happen? Well, the problem is that there are people tattooing out of homes illegally. They aren’t licensed and they aren’t regulated. They haven’t been trained in any sort of safety or sanitation practices. I’ve heard a lot of people say, “But the guy was SO clean!” It can look very clean on the outside, but the real problem lies in two areas. 1. These people do not have the training to understand certain aspects, such as ink ingredients, needle quality and water sanitation. So they DO NOT know if their supplies are safe! And 2. When people are breaking the law to tattoo out of their homes, they are not allowed to purchase professional equipment. They must show a tattoo license and state ID to purchase them. So their options are to buy non professional equipment like “tattoo kits”, Chinese ink and needles, or opened and used inks and supplies off of ebay. These items can not ever be regulated because they are not for professionals, they are for people tattooing illegally.

Ebay inks and equipment is dangerous for a few reasons, mostly because some of those inks are opened. You don’t know if they’ve been contaminated with blood borne pathogens or filled half with water. The “sterilized” equipment might be sterilized… Or it might not. You have to take the seller’s word.

Tattoo kits are generally made up of “sterilized” needles and tubes with small bottles of ink. They are shipped from China. The “sterilized” equipment is marked as sterilized but often have no dates, you also get no proof that the sterilizer itself is in proper working order.

Which brings us to the ink.
Unfortunately, Chinese companies are allowed to sell all sorts of things here that aren’t safe. They aren’t required to sell to professionals and their inks are based on their practices and not ours. These companies make a large amount of money off of ignorant people, tattooing illegally, who don’t know what is safe. Many of the inks they sell use contaminated water, weird acrylic polymers, and questionable pigments. On top of that, they suck and look bad.

So while I appreciate and understand the concern people have about inks and contamination, please be assured that that is not a real issue for high quality tattoo work. That’s why my ink is 5 times more expensive. It’s made in America in a controlled environment with sanitized conditions, clean water and luxurious pigments. I have to provide my info, and shop license before they will sell to me and I have personally spoken with the business owner about his ingredients on various occasions.

Hope that helps those of you who have been asking.

Stina Sardinha Wulfe
Grim North Tattoo
167 high st. Portsmouth NH