'Hidden ingredients' in tattoo inks raise health concerns 'Hidden ingredients' in tattoo inks raise health concerns

'Hidden ingredients' in tattoo inks raise health concerns

'Hidden ingredients' in tattoo inks raise health concerns

A recent study revealed discrepancies between ingredient labels and the actual contents of tattoo inks, raising concerns about transparency and safety.

Chemistry researcher Kelly Mozman and her colleagues from Binghamton University analyzed more than 50 tattoo inks from nine brands used in the United States, to identify previously undetected substances in the inks.

The study revealed that 45 out of 54 inks contained substances not listed on the label, including dyes or additives not listed.

It emerged that only one brand accurately listed its product's ink ingredients, while others "wrongly" claimed the presence of additives such as glycerin. Some inks also contain propylene glycol (an allergen), and others contain potentially harmful substances, such as antibiotics.

A 2021 European Union study found similar problems in 90% of tattoo inks, including mislabeling, unlisted additives and excessive metal impurities.

These results raise concerns given the presence of tattoo inks in the skin and their effect on immune cells, especially with the spread of evidence of pigment leakage into the lymph nodes.

Chemist John Swerk, a senior researcher at Binghamton University, hopes this study will motivate manufacturers and brands to re-evaluate their products, and calls for improved labeling and manufacturing standards.

It should be noted that allergic reactions to tattoo inks (especially red colors), such as swelling and itching, may occur months or years after injection.

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