Tattoo inks contain nanoparticles

Tattoo ink can affect immune system study says

Tattoo ink can affect immune system study says

Schreiver is right: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved any tattoo dye pigments for cosmetic purposes, adding on their website that "published research has reported that some inks contain pigments used in printer toner or in auto paint". TiO2 is also commonly used in food additives, sunscreens and paints.

"When someone wants to get a tattoo, they are often very careful in choosing a parlour where they use sterile needles that haven't been used previously", said Hiram Castillo, one of the authors of the study.

Scientists in Grenoble, joined by colleagues at the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment in Berlin, used X-ray fluorescence measurements to identify particles in the skin and the lymph nodes, which are located in the neck, under the arms and along the crease between the thighs and the abdomen.

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This is the first analytical evidence showing that both the organic and inorganic pigments and toxic impurities from tattoo ink are transported through the body after its application in the skin. People should know the risks of tattoos.

"From studies with other particles of similar size it is known that particles reach the lymph nodes on short term", Schreiver said, pointing out that this is the body's attempt at cleaning the wound caused by a tattoo. Chemical analysis likewise revealed elevated levels of nickel, copper, aluminum, chromium, and iron in the lymph nodes and skin of the tattooed individuals. The lymph nodes become tinted with the colour of the tattoo. This is the way that the body can clean up the site of the tattoo, described Bernhard Hesse, one of the co-authors of the study. "What we didn't know is that they do it in a nano form, which implies that they may not have the same behaviour as the particles at a micro level. If somebody asks me whether it's unsafe to have a tattoo, all I can say is, We don't know yet". They also provided evidence for conformational modifications of biomolecules that might be associated with cutaneous inflammation and other dangers of tattooing.

For the study reported in Scientific Reports on September 12, Wolfgang Bäumler, from University Hospital Regensburg in Germany, and colleagues used X-ray fluorescence to study the skin and lymphatic tissues of four deceased tattooed individuals.

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Previous research has linked titanium dioxide to itching and delayed healing.

The researchers in particular found that pigments and toxic elements that made their way into the lymph nodes were in the form of nanoparticles.

After finding associations between structural and chemical properties of the pigments used in tattoos, the team aims to further analyze patient samples with adverse effects.

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