The good, the bad, and the ugly information about toxic tattoos.
The Toxic Truth About Tattoos
- Tattoo inks contain a myriad of heavy metals. Red tattoo inks often contain mercury, and tattoos pierce the skin leaving the ink permanently embedded. FDA has not approved any tattoo pigments for injection into the skin. Tattoo parlors are regulated by the state and city, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require manufacturers to release their ink’s ingredients; doing so could supposedly give away trade secrets. The lack of regulation is slightly unnerving considering that 36 percent of people ages 18-25 have tattoos, as do 40 percent of those 26-40 years old. That means approximately 45 million Americans have been inked, and one-third of those did so because it makes them feel “sexy.”
- Many pigments used in tattoo inks are industrial-grade colors suitable for printer ink or automobile paint. The FDA’s website warns about tattoo ink possibly causing infections, allergic reactions, keloids (formation of a scar), granulomas (inflammation) and potential complications while receiving MRIs.
- The carrier solution used in tattoo inks contains harmful substances such as denatured alcohols, methanol, antifreeze, detergents, formaldehyde and toxic aldehydes.
- What’s more, the review found eight cases of malignant melanoma on the site of the tattoo. “Tattoo inks may contain carcinogens, but it’s unclear whether the reported cases of skin cancer are associated with tattoos or occurred coincidentally,” says Dr. Bäumler, whose study noted that this number is few in comparison to the many people who have tattoos. (In fact, 24% of the population is inked.)
- An alarming research study recently published by Dr. Bob Haley and Dr. Paul Fischer at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas uncovered that the “innocent” commercial tattoo may be the number one distributor of hepatitis C. “We found that commercially acquired tattoos accounted for more than twice as many hepatitis C infections as injection-drug use. This means it may have been the largest single contributor to the nationwide epidemic of this form of hepatitis.”
It’s not just the beauty profession that has ugly secrets. There are hidden secrets in many professions.
If you would like to know what is toxic in the beauty profession, click on the link below.
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This article has been slightly edited.