Dangers of eyeball tattoos, new Indiana law bans the practice

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) -For those who want to get an eyeball tattoo, they will now have to go somewhere other than Indiana.

Senate Bill 158 the law that bans eyeball tattoos, or scleral tattooing took effect on July 1.

Republican State Senator John Ruckelshaus wrote the legislation and said he wants to keep the practice out of Indiana. 

Ruckelshaus said he does not know of any cases in the state so this legislation will serve as a precautionary method.

Amanda Gosch is an optometrist at Indiana University Health and said scleral tattooing is extremely dangerous.

“Some of the complications that you may read about are of course pain and redness, but light sensitivity, loss of vision, blindness, and even loss of the eye itself,” Gosch said.

She said the same dye used to tattoo skin is the same dye that is injected in the eye. There are different metals in those dyes like nickel, copper and iron.

“There’s actually no evidence out there, scientifically or medically to know what these dyes, tattoo dyes do long term so there are definitely serious complications that can happen down the road. This procedure is done by tattoo artists or non-medical professionals, so when you have people who are doing this procedure that are not trained medically there are some serious complications that can happen.” she added.

Violators of the law can now face up to a $10,000 fine. A similar law was also passed in Oklahoma.