Would you be surprised to learn that there are no regulations controlling or even monitoring the ingredients of tattoo ink? The FDA currently does not regulate tattoo inks.
Most if not all of the pigments used in tattoo inks are manufactured for industrial use such as in printer ink and paint. Pigment manufacturers base their safety information on the assumption that the pigments are used for industrial purposes, not for tattoos.
A 2009 study analyzed 13 inks from a single supplier and found the heavy metals cadmium, cobalt, chromium and nickel in all of them. Most of the inks also contained mercury.
A 2010 analysis of black inks based on carbon found that most of them contained polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which are known to be carcinogenic.
Black inks are most commonly used for animal tattoos.
Pigments that have been banned from use in cosmetics are still being used in tattoo ink. Substances that have been deemed unsafe to come into contact with the skin are being injected in the skin and no one seems to care?
Heavy metals, endocrine disruptor's and carcinogens…that’s what’s in the ink…
One of the chemicals found in black tattoo ink - benzo(a)pyrene - is a potent carcinogen that causes skin cancer in animals tests. The EPA has identified this substance as “among the most potent and well documented skin carcinogens”. So potent in fact that it is used in animal testing to purposely grow tumors on animals.
Ink can also be contaminated with dangerous bacteria, mold and fungi. There are no safety regulations to prevent this from occurring.
Where does the ink go when it fades from the skin? Previous studies on humans have shown that inks move into lymph nodes.
Permanent identification helps us keep care and control of our animals but the methods have consequences whether we like it or not. If you continue to use tattooing as the method to identify your animals try to learn as much about the ingredients by contacting the manufacturer. Never tattoo a pregnant animal. Consult with an animal naturopath to learn how to detox your animal from toxins and heavy metals caused by tattoos.
Many pet owners use tattoos or microchips to permanently identify their animals. If the animal ever becomes lost the identification improves the chance that they would be reunited with their families. To register pedigreed animals, kennel club’s require breeders to permanently identify their animals.
If you are up to date on pet health issues you know that there are reports of troubling side effects caused by implanting microchips under a pet’s skin. Faced with these reports, many health conscious pet owners are opting to tattoo their animals instead.
But don't assume tattooing carries no risk. There is a small chance of infection or allergic reaction, but what no one seems to be talking about are the actual ingredients of the ink that is injected into the body.
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Author - Jennifer Lee
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