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Tattoos Have Serious Health Risks

In a world that offers countless outlets for creative freedom, the tattoo is a bit of a throwback. The very permanence of body inking contrasts sharply with social media communications that rapidly disappear into the abyss of the cloud. Unfortunately, the process of tattooing may pose some serious dangers, according to WIAT San Francisco.

The permanence is a large part of their allure but tattoos can pose a serious danger. Nanoparticles may pose a long term danger and are nearly unavoidable in tattoo ink. Nanoparticles are ultramicroscopic in size, making them able to readily penetrate your skin and travel to underlying blood vessels and your bloodstream. Evidence suggests that some nanoparticles may induce toxic effects in your brain and cause nerve damage, and some may also be carcinogenic.

This is problematic because tattoo inks are largely unregulated and known to contain cancer-causing compounds. Inks and ink colorings (pigments) used for tattoos are technically subject to regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as cosmetics and color additives. However, because of other public health priorities and a "previous lack of evidence of safety concerns," they have not traditionally regulated such products. Many dyes used in tattooing are actually produced for industrial uses such as car paint or printers' ink, for instance.

Proponents of tattoos have several courses of action to improve this situation. Demanding clean and sterile tattoo facilities can help reduce the threat of acute infections due to the tattooing process. Many infections occur from tattoos not performed by professionals. The most important step is to demand stricter regulation of the inks used for tattoo art.
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