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Tattoo Ink Maker Sued Over Alleged Risk

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A nonprofit group sued eight tattoo ink and pigment manufacturers, alleging the firms exposed people to potentially unhealthy levels of lead and other metals without warning.

The American Environmental Safety Institute filed the lawsuit on Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court against firms in New York, Arizona, Illinois, Florida, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

The group claims the manufacturers are violating a California law that requires people to be warned before being exposed to hazardous materials.

AESI wants the companies to lower levels of the alleged toxins in their products and label pigment containers to alert tattoo parlors and customers of possible risks associated with the inks.

``The issue here isn't whether a tattoo is good or bad,'' AESI attorney Roger Carrick said. ``We want the information to be provided.''

Representatives for Huck Spaulding Enterprises in New York and Superior Tattoo Equipment in Arizona, two major manufacturers named in the lawsuit, declined to comment.

AESI said an estimated 16 percent of Americans have one or more tattoos.
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