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Now tattoos give you cancer: U.S. regulator probes fears inks contain carcinogenic chemicals
Smoking, drinking, sunbathing and mobile phones have all been implicated in the surge in cancer diagnoses.
But now it seems another cause may soon be added to the ever-growing list: tattoos.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has launched an investigation after new research turned up troubling findings about toxic chemicals in tattoo ink.
Recently published studies have found that the inks can contain a host of dodgy substances, including some phthalates, metals, and hydrocarbons that are carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.
Originally posted by Biigs
What doesnt give you cancer these days?
Originally posted by Wolvo
Funny this topic came up actually, i used to work in a funeral home and my old boss new when some one had a tattoo and where before seeing it. Some how linked death to tattoo's.
Originally posted by TechVampyre
My sister is a tattoo artist.. This is completely ridiculous, I am covered almost completely in ink.. And most of the people i know are also..
The bottom line: There is no evidence that tattoos lead to skin cancer..
Originally posted by boncho
I heard that DIY tatooers in prison use all sorts of things for ink, (because they aren't allowed it), one of those being burnt plastic...
I have a feeling that form of tatoo outdoes normal ones in cancer causing by far.
Recently, the FDA launched new studies to investigate the long-term safety of the inks, including what happens when they break down in the body or interact with light. Research already has shown that tattoo inks can migrate into people’s lymph nodes.
For now the long-term health risks – if any – from tattoo inks remain murky.
"The short answer is we don't know if the chemicals in tattoo inks represent a health hazard," said Joseph Braun, an environmental epidemiologist at Harvard University in Boston, Mass., who was is not involved in the new studies.
In July, scientists reported their discovery that the chemical dibutyl phthalate, a common plasticizer, along with other substances, are found in black tattoo inks. In the study of 14 commercially available inks, they found low levels of dibutyl phthalate in all of them.
"The substances found in the inks might be partially responsible for adverse skin reactions to tattoos," wrote the dermatologists from Germany’s University of Regensburg.
For phthalates, which can mimic estrogen or disrupt testosterone, exposure of fetuses and infants is the major concern. In infant boys, prenatal exposure to dibutyl phthalate has been linked to feminization of the reproductive tract. In men, phthalate exposure has been linked to sperm defects and altered thyroid hormones.
But phthalates in tattoo inks may not carry the same risk.