Is there a Link Between Tattoo Ink & Cancer? Let’s See…


Is there a Link Between Tattoo Ink & Cancer? Let’s See…

By Suresh Nair

Studies have shown that benzo(a)pyrene, a chemical in black tattoo ink, can induce skin cancer in test animals, while other cancer-causing chemicals have also been identified in many other tattoo inks. For instance, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified carbon black – a major component of black tattoo ink – as possibly carcinogenic to human beings.

Additionally, black inks appear to be capable of producing reactive oxygen species (ROS) which can potentially damage skin cells.

It’s worth remembering that the vast majority of tested tattoo inks contain nanoparticles, which may be capable of evading the body’s natural defenses more easily. In fact, black tattoo pigments are almost pure nanoparticles, which have been shown to migrate away from the skin, damage collagen, and accumulate in the spleen and kidneys, with possibly harmful effects for health.

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