Although adding ashes to ink isn’t officially regulated by the government, the Health Dept of your state may consider it an unsafe practice, and the tattoo studio risks losing their operating license.
So why do so many tattoo studios stay away from performing tattoos using ink infused with ashes (also known as “ritual” or “commemorative” tattoos)? Simply put, there is no guarantee the ashes were kept in a safe and sterile manner, posing health risks, including infection. Most (hopefully ALL) tattoo artists want to insure the safety of their client, and want to avoid ANY risk if possible outside the normal processes of getting a tattoo.
There are companies that claim to be able to infuse ashes with ink in a way that maintains sterility and safety. However, they may not be using quality inks or inks EU regulated, which opens a new problem. The vast majority of artists like to use very particularly chosen inks for their craft, and are not fond of using inks someone brought in with them.
The idea of getting a part of someone you loved, who has now passed, permanently made a part of you, is a wonderful gesture. No doubt about it. However, it really isn’t a good idea. There are many other ways you could do this. For example, you could have the ashes compressed to a point that it makes a diamond or other gemstone. Not only is it safer, but it will last forever, quite literally until the end of this planet. You could infuse them with paints, and have a professional artist paint their portrait.
When it comes to safety, tattoo artists will do whatever they can to avoid complications and health risks. They want you happy, but they also want you safe.