AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

The SHOCKING Truth About Tattoos!

Dying to get a tattoo? You might want to hold that thought.

It might seem cool to have something permanently tattooed on your body, whether it represents an important symbol or not. People get tattoos for various reasons but many people see them as works of art that they want to display on their bodies. People spend much time to think about what images or symbols they want to display. However, few think about what happens after they get this tattoo. Yet, the after effects should be the most important consideration.

What effects does ink have on the body?

Tattoo artists inject ink into the dermis, the layer of skin under the epidermis, filled with blood vessels and nerves. But does the ink really just stay on the surface of the skin? Research and testing on rats has shown that some ink particles can travel through the bloodstream and enter the lymph nodes within minutes, which can cause major harm to the body. Ines Schreiver, a scientist who is part of a team of German and French scientists, found Titanium dioxide along with metal particles such as nickel and chromium (shocking) in the lymph nodes. These ink particles can cause complications such as enlargement of lymph nodes and blood clotting.

What about contamination of ink?

Furthermore, tattoo ink production is highly unregulated. So, no one knows for sure what companies are putting in the ink. According to Dr. Linda Katz, director of the FDA’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors, there is no fool-proof way of telling whether tattoo ink is contaminated. A study in Denmark showed that about 10% of unopened tattoo ink bottles were infected with bacteria.

So, what’s the verdict?

This study alone should make you think twice about getting a tattoo. Although tattooing has been part of human culture for countless years, these recent findings should create a more cautious attitude towards tattoos. There are many other ways to symbolize something that’s important to you or to make yourself look different.  You need to always think first about your health.

For more information click here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Stem Cells to the Rescue


Tree Lobsters Are Back!

1 Comment

  1. ekauli

    That’s a really an interesting post. I don’t think when people get tattoos, they even consider adverse side effects. They probably just think, like I did, that it just sort of “stains” your skin, and doesn’t really do much else. However, when you search up “are tattoos safe” there are numerous articles on the topic. So, obviously, in the scientific community, it seems to be a subject that has at least been looked to a little. I think then the issue becomes public awareness; like I said earlier, most people don’t consider health when thinking of tattoos. Perhaps tattoo parlor should warn people (they won’t want too…)? Or maybe people should just be smarter, and do their research first, and then weigh the risks themselves. I found a good article from webMD about tattoo risks that I think someone considering getting a tattoo ought to read (or something similar).

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

Skip to toolbar