Is Tattoo Ink Toxic?
I like tattoos. I’ve been intrigued by them for years, and I toyed around with getting one for a good 15 years or so. My husband and I have talked about them a lot, trying to imagine what we would want as a tattoo should we ever decide to get one. But for some reason neither of us have ever gone through with it. I know it isn’t because we are chicken, I had my navel pierced for a while and that was darn painful, but I did it. I always feared I would have some sort of allergic reaction to the ink, since I have sensitive skin and many allergies. And an allergic reaction to something injected under your skin which can’t really be removed just sounds terrible. And since Murphy and I are close friends, I’m guessing his Law would surface in this situation! I just never wanted to take the chance.
But of course last week two of my friends started posting pictures and starting discussions on Facebook about tattoos, and my interest was piqued again. This time I decided to do a little research on tattoo ink and what I found out really precludes me from ever getting one. The FDA does not regulate tattoo ink and does not require the ingredients to be disclosed as it is considered proprietary and a trade secret. That is bothersome to me since it means ink manufacturers are not required to tell us what is in their pigments. According to Tattooinfo.net some inks contain antimony, arsenic, beryllium, cobalt, lead, nickel, and selenium, all heavy metals. According to Natural News the carrier solutions may contain denatured alcohol, methanol, rubbing alcohol, antifreeze, and formaldehyde. To me, the most disturbing fact is that red pigment cinnabar is derived from mercury, one of the most toxic substances known to mankind. And here we are electively injecting it into our skin!
Natural News also reported that some pigments are plastic based to create more richly hued inks. These plastic-based inks have lead to polymerization under the skin, where the tattoo pigment particles converged into one solid mass under the skin. That is truly disturbing.
I will not choose to have a tattoo because I do not want to increase my toxic burden by injecting these chemicals and heavy metals under my skin where they will continue to expose me daily. So although I find some of them to be exotic and beautiful, I can not increase my total toxic load by getting one. Stay Well.