In the U.S.A tattoo inks are regulated by the U.S Food and Drug Department. This is because the inks are classed as cosmetic and the inks colors come under the food additives. Research carried out on inks that are used by some tattooist is so strong that they are classed as industrial strength, in other words, the inks that you put in your copier is the same ink being put on your body.
One of the laws in California which are called proposition 65 makes tattooist warn their customers that tattoo inks they use contain heavy metals which are known to start some form of cancers and also birth defects.
Here are just a few of the metals used in color inks.
Red – mercury
Yellow and green – lead
Yellow-green and white – Cadmium
Green – Cobalt
Blue – Aluminium
Green and violet – titanium
white – Copper
Blue and green – Iron
This list goes on and it gets worse. Inks that glow in the dark. There are other types of ink that will glow in the dark. These are named Glow and black-light ink.
Glow inks work by absorbing and retaining light. and this light will shine in darkened conditions. the process of this is called phosphorescence.
Black-light inks work in a different way and do not glow in the dark. They will show if a person is in non-visible UV light which works by fluorescence.
The medical community is split on if these inks do any harm to a person having these inks in their skin. You would be wise to look at the ingredients of these products before you have them in your skin. Glow inks are listed under PMMA which is short for (poly-methi-methacrylate) which makes up around 97- 98% of the ink and 2-3% made of microspheres of fluorescent dye all suspended in UV sterilized distilled water
It worth noting that there is a product called “Black henna” with the Canada health authority advises people not to use though it seems they have not to band this at the time this article was written.
Black-Hanna is usually used externally in a process and not in the skin. It is a temporary application in Mahanadi art in India and is sometimes referred to as temporary-Mahanadi and it can be washed off. Mahanadi is also the name of a river in India, so I would imagine this is where this form of body art started out.
How do you stand legally when things go wrong is a question of peoples mind. In the United States where the legal system lets open to any claim put forward. Other Counties not so as the cost can and do get out of hand.
One case in America stand out and that was in 2007. The lawsuit was between the American Environmental Safety Institute (AESI) who brought the case against two of the biggest ink manufacturers in the U.S. The case resulted in the inks manufacturers having too put a warning label on their ink products used in tattooing
The problem of putting heavy metals into your skin is only a small part of the risk of having a tattoo. Not all tattoo parlors their needles an equipment are looked after. There are a number of cases when the equipment used is not properly sterilized between customers. This can lead to hepatitis B or C, also syphilis – tuberculosis – mycobacterium. Also HIV and malaria.
In the case of malaria when I was a junior engineer many years ago in the merchant navy. My friend had a tattoo put on by a tattooist who came on board. about 5 weeks later as we went around South Africa cost my friend developed malaria and was put ashore in West Africa. When I saw him about a year later he was working shore side. He told me it took many weeks to get over malaria and a lot of stress and anxiety getting him home .he wasn’t able to get another ship as no other company would take him on because of the cost of bringing him home if malaria returned.