Tattoo Ink Can Cause Organ Failure and Allergies

A new study warns that tattoo inks can be a potential source of lifelong health problems, with researchers finding links between tattoo ink and serious allergies, chronic inflammation, and even organ failure.

54 different tattoo inks from brands commonly used in the United States were evaluated by researchers from Binghampton University in New York. They found that all of the inks were a potential cause for health issues, with severe allergic reactions and lifelong sensitivity being the most common. These reactions can occur during or after the tattooing process.

The food and drug administration (FDA) has not approved any tattoo inks for injection into the skin. Tattoo inks are considered a cosmetic product and therefore the FDA merely regulates the packaging of inks instead of their contents.

This lack of regulation poses a significant risk to those who choose to get tattoos, as they have no way of knowing the potential health hazards associated with the inks.

The researchers found that red ink was the most likely to cause an allergic reaction and that black ink was the most likely to contain toxic substances such as benzo(a)pyrene and benzene, which are known to cause cancer.

"With tattoos becoming increasingly popular, it is important for the public to be aware of the potential health consequences that could result from tattoo inks," said Matthew Grever, who led the study.

Approximately one in every five Europeans and Americans have a tattoo, with over half of young adults between the ages of 18 and 35 having at least one tattoo on their body.

Previous studies have shown that tattoo inks can contain harmful substances, including heavy metals, pesticides, and industrial toxins. These substances have the potential to cause a number of health problems, from skin allergies to organ system toxicity.

The study's authors recommend that more research be done on the chemical compositions of tattoo inks to establish a safer marketplace for consumers.

Matthew Grever also suggests that those who get tattoos should think carefully about the tattoo ink colors they choose, as well as whether or not tattoo removal is the best option when moving on from a significant life milestone.

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