Humans warned to avoid one colour of tattoo after study uncovers dangers of inks


If you’re planning the next tat for your sleeve or perhaps your first ever little one for the summer, you might be back-and-forth on whether or not to throw some colour in there.

And as a new study uncovered worrying risks for people who have tattoos, people have also been warned to avoid a specific colour of tattoo after a scientific study uncovered the dangers of different inks.

It’s no secret that people can often have some allergic rashes in reaction to getting tattoos, have some inflammation from sun exposure or even get an infection if they’ve not followed the tattoo artist’s advice after getting it done.

Previous studies looked at the possible long-term health effects of tattoo inks and suggest that those reactions could be linked to the presence of harmful chemicals in the most common inks used.

Phthalates and benzopyrene are two of the most harmful chemicals present in the ink used to create tattoos all over people and have been linked to cancer and endocrine disruption.

And while black ink is often made of soot and can sometimes contain animal bones burned down into charcoal, that’s not the colour being warned against.

While there is still a lack of understanding and information about the dangers in general, it is clear that red is the colour considered ‘most dangerous’.

Based on the studies, Non Toxic Revolution writes: “Red pigment often causes the most skin reactions and is considered the most dangerous because it contains cadmium, mercury or iron oxide.”

It advises: “Choose a red ink with naphthol instead.”

Sweden’s Lund University recently investigated the long-term health effects of having tattoos, sampling a group of 11,905 people to find out more about the link between tattoos and lymphoma.

Researcher Christel Nielsen, who led the study, explained: “We have identified people diagnosed with lymphoma via population registers.

“These individuals were then matched with a control group of the same sex and age, but without lymphoma. The study participants answered a questionnaire about lifestyle factors to determine whether they were tattooed or not.”

Out of the large group 2,938 of them had the type of blood cancer when they were between 20 and 60 years old.

In the group with lymphoma, 21 percent were tattooed (289), while 18 percent were tattooed in the control group without a lymphoma diagnosis (735).

The research group concluded the size of the tattoo could increase risk of lymphoma, and that it didn’t matter where the tattoo was located on the body.

Featured Image Credit: Getty stock images

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