Consumer Watch Investigation Leaves Mark On State Lawmaker

Wednesday, January 26th 2011, 11:51 am
By: News 9

Amanda Taylor, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma teen Mason Dickerson got a temporary tattoo at the fair in September 2010, but once the black color started to fade, the resulting scar was definitely not cool.

"I started freaking out," Dickerson said.

So did his mom, who took him straight to the doctor.

"He said basically it's a chemical burn," Julia Blood said. "It may fade over time, it may not."

That burn is the result of what's known as black henna, which isn't natural henna at all. It's typically made from black hair dye containing a chemical called P.P.D. The F.D.A. has banned that chemical from being put on the skin.

Dickerson's experience and the findings in that Consumer Watch story concerned State Representative Harold Wright.

"My concern is either of those products could possibly be dangerous until they're approved by the F.D.A.," Representative Harold Wright said.

That's why he authored a bill requiring all henna tattoo artists be licensed to work in Oklahoma. House Bill 1320 would also prevent anyone under 18 from getting any type of tattoo.

"I'm hoping people can understand we're trying to work here to protect children from going somewhere and getting some sort of tattoo and having an adverse reaction to it," said Rep. Wright.

Something Dickerson has learned the hard way.

"If I had known this was actually going to scar," Dickerson said. "I would have never gotten it. No way."

House Bill 1320 will start out in a committee once the legislative session begins February 7.

It would then need to be approved in the House and Senate then ultimately signed by Governor Fallin.

As for Dickerson, the burn is clearing up, but if you look closely, you can still see where the tattoo was. His mother is concerned about possible health risks later on.

More: Consumer Watch: Oklahoma Teen's Temporary Tattoo May Not Be Temporary