Could Your Tattoos Lead To Cancer?

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Tattoos last forever, unless you spend thousands on laser removal, but that’s not the only potential downside to them. Studies are finding that tattoo ink can be dangerous and may link to cancer.

An article in The Sun has referenced “a shocking new study” from the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) which finds the dyes in tattoo inks can lead to cancer.

Other adverse effects also include reproductive toxicity and painful itching that can last for years when the ink literally gets under your skin. According to the ECHA, red ink is the most dangerous, and green, black, and blue inks are also thought to be significantly harmful.

Certain inks may very well be banned by the European Union soon, but as of now, inks are not regulated by the EU. The EU has been asked to “assess the risks, the relevant socio-economic impacts and the need for Union-wide action by preparing a dossier for restriction.”

A study by Copenhagen University Hospital has found carcinogenic chemicals in 13 out of 21 common tattoo inks in Europe.

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. has also warned about the dangers of tattoo inks. The FDA says on its website that allergic reactions to tattoo inks can happen “right after tattooing or even years later.”

The FDA’s Arkansas-based National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) is conducting studies on the inks used in American tattoo parlors. The studies aim to examine chemical compositions, short- and long-term safety, and the reactions of pigments to light.