Tattoo inks contain heavy metals and other substances linked to numerous health problems including cancer and neuro-degenerative diseases.
Mercury, lead and antimony, beryllium, cadmium and arsenic are all found in tattoo inks:
- Mercury is a neuro toxin and has detrimental effect on the nervous system often leading to physical and emotional disorders.
- Lead is toxic to the heart, bones, intestines, kidneys and nervous and reproductive systems. Lead poisoning may cause seizures, coma and death and abdominal pain.
- Beryllium, a class A carcinogen may also cause a fatal lung disease.
- Cadmium may cause kidney, bone and pulmonary damage.
- Arsenic, a known carcinogen may also cause genetic damage.
- Antimony is an irritant to the eyes, skin and lungs.
Many people later decide to have tattoos removed but tattoo removal also poses health risks. Dissolving the ink with laser treatments – the most popular removal technique, may release metals and other dangerous substances into the blood stream where they can be absorbed.