Tattoos, just Good Fun?

Although in most cases much more attractive than the prison-street style of wearing pants, who knows what millennials and their following have been thinking as they run like lemmings to ink shops. Tattoo parlors or your favorite phrase for these businesses of far-from-renaissance artists are dangerous. One thing that would be skin canvasses should consider is their health.

According to a 2016 Harris Poll, almost half of people between 18 and 35 have tattoos, and approximately twenty-five percent wish they had decided otherwise, separate from health-related knowledge. Based on an estimate of about 60 million people in that age group, that suggests about 30 million tattooed persons and 7.5 million wishing that the placements had not occurred. And, that does not even take into consideration all of the would-be-immortal baby-boomers who adopted ink as a complement to their Botox, lifts/tucks, fillers, implants, and suction removals of abdominal fat, before and after their colonics during lunch.

Ink effects are beyond superficial. Some tattoo inks are known to be toxic, others carcinogenic. In fact, the 2012 Danish Environmental Protection Agency found twenty percent of tattoo inks contained carcinogenic chemicals. Australian studies have found that randomly sampled inks rarely comply with international health safety standards for ink composition. Chemicals such as barium, copper, mercury and toxic synthetic compound have been found in tattoo inks. There is often even an unfortunate mismatch between the listed ink contents and measured constituents identified by chemical analysis of products used in tattooing. Even worse, carcinogens were identified in more than eighty percent of black inks, by far the most popular color.

A late participant in the investigative process, the American Food and Drug Administration fairly recently commented on tattoo inks, stating “Many pigments used in tattoo inks are industrial-grade colors suitable for printers’ ink or automobile paint.” The European Society of Tattoo and Pigment Research, established in 2013 with the primary goal of educating the public about the fundamentals of tattoos, suggests that health risks are often ignored, particularly by the [immortal] younger fans. Although many American high school students reach the critical 18 years of age mark as they near graduation, the vast majority of schools do not include the topic of tattooing in their health classes.

As most all epidermal cells turn over every forty-five days, obviously tattoos persist and their effects are thereby “more than skin deep”. You are injecting chemicals subdermally and your body responds both immediately and slowly, with a long term response. Investigate this topic more fully. You and your health matter.