November 20, 2013 | 41,000 views

By Dr. Mercola

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never gotten a tattoo and after reading this study I am glad I avoided them. If you’ve ever gotten a tattoo, or thought about it, chances are high that you weighed the artistic and social aspects of it far more than the health aspects.

In fact, you may not even be aware that there is a health aspect to receiving a tattoo – other than the inherent risks of infection, allergic reaction or disease transmission if equipment is not properly sterilized.

Research is increasingly showing, however, that there might be health risks involved, especially if your tattoo design contains large areas of black ink, as the ink itself may be toxic.

Can Tattoo Ink Lead to Cancer?

It has been said that “tattoo ink is remarkably nonreactive histologically, despite the frequent use of different pigments of unknown purity and identity by tattoo artists.” 1

However, University of Bradford researchers using an atomic force microscope (AFM) that allows them to examine skin with tattoos at the nano-level have found evidence that suggests otherwise. In a preliminary study (the first to use an AFM to examine tattoos), the researchers found that the tattoo process remodels collagen (your body’s main connective tissue).2

Further, nanoparticles from tattoo ink were found to exist in both the collagenous network of the skin as well as around blood vessels. This suggests that the ink particles are leaving the surface of your skin and traveling elsewhere in your body, where they could potentially enter organs and other tissues.

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