Tattoos have hit a peak of popularity in recent years, with 23% of Americans having at least one tattoo and 21% of Canadians. Getting inked has gone from having a sort of rebellious stigma to becoming a more mainstream way to express yourself. If you have a tattoo, (or have ever considered getting one) did you ever stop to research the potential health hazards that come along with them? Check out the 3 main facts we uncovered that may shock you:
- Tattoo inks are loaded with heavy metals that become permanently embedded within your skin. Red ink in particular is high in mercury which can cause kidney problems, nervous system disorders, muscle weakness and memory issues. The ink used is vastly unregulated and can resemble automobile paint and printer ink in it's toxicity level.
- Some tattoo inks contain a carrier solution which may have traces of antifreeze, formaldehyde and methanol in them. These chemicals can lead to inflammation and can even interfere with the accuracy of certain medical tests like MRIs.
- A study conducted by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School found that tattooing has accounted for twice the number of Hepatitis C infections than injection-based drug use has. This could account for the influx of Hep C infections in the US.