Sunday 28 May 2017

New research suggests that tattoo ink can cause cancer but one colour in particular is the most dangerous

The agency revealed that red tattoo inks are the most dangerous, but blue, green and black inks could also pose a risk
The agency revealed that red tattoo inks are the most dangerous, but blue, green and black inks could also pose a risk
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Those who decide to get inked could be increasing their risk of developing cancer, as new research suggests that tattoo ink is potentially harmful.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) suggests that tattoo ink is potentially toxic and can cause allergic reactions, painful itching and pose an elevated risk of cancer development.

The agency is preparing to publish a “restrictions dossier”, which will list a number of chemicals used in tattoo inks, which could see them banned by the European Union.

The agency revealed that red tattoo inks are the most dangerous, but blue, green and black inks could also pose a risk, according to the research.

Red ink, such as that used in Cheryl Cole's tattoo (pictured), could pose a risk
Red ink, such as that used in Cheryl Cole's tattoo (pictured), could pose a risk

The agency said: “Many reports show concerns for public health stemming from the composition of inks used for tattooing.

“The most severe concerns are allergies caused by the substances in the inks and possible carcinogenic, mutagenic or reproductive toxic effects.”

Chemicals that are mutagenic have the potential to change a cell’s DNA which could lead to cancer. The report also suggests that tattoo ink could impact fertility.

Researchers at New York University’s Langone Medical Centre found that 6pc of those who get inked experience some form of rash and severe itching that lasted more than four months, with some suffering for years.

The report was conducted by the agency to establish tattoo ink should be subjected to the same regulations as food and medication within the EU, and restrictions may be in place within a year.

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