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Tattoo Inks Pose Health Risks

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Tempted to get a tattoo? Today, people from all walks of life have tattoos, which might lead you to believe that tattoos are completely safe.

But there are health risks that can result in the need for medical care. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is particularly concerned about a family of bacteria called nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) that has been found in a recent outbreak of illnesses linked to contaminated tattoo inks.

M. chelonae, one of several disease-causing NTM species, can cause lung disease, joint infection, eye problems and other organ infections. These infections can be difficult to diagnose and can require treatment lasting six months or more.

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