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How Safe Is Your Tattoo Ink?

If you've ever thought about getting a tattoo, chances are high that you weighed the artistic and social aspects of it far more than the health aspects. Research is increasingly showing, however, that there might be health risks involved with getting a tattoo beyond the inherent risks of infection, allergic reaction or disease transmission if equipment is not properly sterilized. According to WebMD, "A new report has raised questions about the safety of tattoo inks used in Europe, most of which are imported from the United States. The inks have been found to contain hazardous chemicals, including carcinogens."

THINK BEFORE YOU INK: It's important to inform yourself of all the potential dangers of getting a tattoo. In a survey of people with tattoos, more than 10 percent said they developed abnormal reactions as a result, including pain, itching, and infection. For 6 percent, symptoms such as itching, scaly skin, and swelling lasted for longer than four months. Both red and black tattoo pigments have been implicated in potential complications, although all colors are unregulated and may contain cancer-causing compounds that migrate through your body.
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