A newly released research points out that there might be more risks tied to getting a tattoo than just the use of an unsterilized needle. Namely, the study detected that the utilization of an inappropriate ink might be just as dangerous and harder to identify sanitation concern.
Usually, most people are believed to choose a particular place or artists to ink them based on the location’s or person’s hygiene practices, but without taking into consideration the pigment itself.
Nonetheless, an FDA advisory already pointed out the possible risks of getting tattooed with bad ink.
The Ink Used for the Tattoo is Just as Important as the Needles
Scientists from Germany and France are behind this new study on the matter. They used the ESRF or European Synchrotron Radiation Facility to monitor and study how ink employed in tattoos travel inside the body.
Thanks to this, they detected that “various organic and inorganic pigments and toxic element impurities” can sometimes make their way to the body’s lymph nodes. This can happen as these pigments and impurities take the form of nanoparticles.
Lymph nodes are components of the lymph system which is an import part of the immune system.
“No one checks the chemical composition of the colors, but our study shows that maybe they should,” points out one of the study authors, Hiram Castillo-Michel, who is also part of the ESRF.
The research team points out that the particles in the tattoo ink usually make their way to the lymph nodes at a nano scale. Previously, researchers believed that these traveled at a microscopic level inside the body.
This bigger size would have made them unlikely to the reach the body’s lymph nodes.
The study observed that, as the body detects the color particles on the nodes, it starts cleaning the entrance site of the tattoo. One of the other study leads then pointed out that the difference in size also makes it harder to determine how these nanoparticles will react. More research on the matter will probably be needed to establish their consequence.
Current study findings are available in a paper in the journal Scientific Reports.
Image Source: Wikimedia
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