Getting a tattoo could actually be toxic: Inspection
authorities have been coming across tattoo ink that could be hazardous to one's
health, according to the German Association of Food Chemists.
Dyestuffs used to make colourful tattoos are not medicines,
so by default the job of checking the safety of the ink has ended up with food
scientists. Investigators from the government food laboratory in the German
state of Saxony were alarmed at what they found in 2011.
Worrying amounts of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)
were discovered in eight of 13 samples of black tattoo ink.
Experts say PAH could
The experts say PAH may be harmful to health and could move
from the skin to other parts of the body.
A scientific paper in 2010 showed that ultra-violet
radiation from the sun could interact with PAH to generate free radicals in
skin. This causes concern because some forms of cancer are thought to result
from reactions between free radicals and our DNA.
According to the association, many of the coloured tattoo
inks include colour pigments that were designed for industrial usage, for
example in automotive paint, writing ink or printing ink.