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Do You Wish To Get Inked? This Study Reveals Dangerous Health Risks; Know More

A study in Analytical Chemistry led by John Swierk highlights health risks from undisclosed additives in US tattoo inks. Polyethylene glycol and 2-phenoxyethanol were found, urging better regulation. Pew Research shows tattoos' popularity with 32% of adults having one, often for personal expression or aesthetic enhancement.

Edited By : Aniket Raj | Updated: Mar 3, 2024 20:05 IST
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A study published in Analytical Chemistry, led by John Swierk from Binghamton University, raises concerns about health risks related to certain tattoo ink ingredients. Analyzing nine major tattoo ink brands in the US, the study discovered undisclosed additives or pigments linked to potential health risks in 45 out of 54 ink samples.

One such additive identified is polyethylene glycol, a medication for constipation management, according to the National Institute of Health. Although its presence in tattoo ink is worrisome, further research is necessary to fully grasp the specific risks associated with this discovery.

This study emphasizes the importance of selecting reputable tattoo artists who use high-quality, thoroughly tested inks. It’s crucial to discuss any concerns with your chosen artist and ensure they adhere to proper safety and hygiene protocols.

Additionally, the study identified 2-phenoxyethanol, found in some inks, as potentially hazardous. Exposure to high doses of this chemical can irritate the skin, lungs, liver, kidneys, and nerves.

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“We’re hoping the manufacturers take this as an opportunity to reevaluate their processes, and that artists and clients take this as an opportunity to push for better labeling and manufacturing,” stated Swierk

“The FDA is still figuring out what that is going to look like, and we think this study will influence the discussions around MoCRA,” he added.

Apart from the potential risks highlighted in the recent study, getting a tattoo entails other health considerations. Mayo Clinic notes that tattoos can also result in MRI complications as the pigments may disrupt the image’s quality.

A recent survey by the Pew Research Center in August 2023 provided insights into the growing popularity of tattoos. According to the data, 32% of adults surveyed reported having at least one tattoo. Notably, 22% of respondents with tattoos had at least two, indicating a trend towards multiple tattoos.

The survey also explored the motivations behind getting tattoos. Nearly half (47%) of participants with tattoos stated that they served as a form of personal expression and a means to convey their beliefs and values. Interestingly, 32% indicated that at least one of their tattoos was motivated by a desire to enhance their appearance.

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First published on: Mar 03, 2024 07:15 PM IST

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