Everyone knows about the tattoo, and you probably know dozens of people who do. They may not be as harmless as body art fanatics believe them to be, the new research suggests.

From the tattoo ink, the microscopic particles can migrate into the body and wind up in lymph nodes, important hubs of the human immune system according to a study.

Tiny particles from tattoo ink can migrate into the body

Measuring a few micrometres down to nanometers, the nano particles include molecules from preservatives and contaminants such a nickel, chromium, manganese and cobalt, researchers reported in the peer-reviewed journal Scientific Reports.

Various organic and inorganic pigments, these tattoo inks have composed and can have contaminated with toxic impurities. The second most common ingredient besides carbon black used in tattoo inks has titanium dioxide, a white pigment also used in the food additives, sunscreens and paints.

With delayed healing, itching and skin irritation, the chemical has associated. The co-author Hiram Castillo, a researcher at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France says that “When someone wants to get a tattoo, they are often cautious in choosing a parlour where they use sterile needles.”

They reported strong evidence for migration and long term deposit of toxic elements:

The chemical composition of the colours, no one checks, but our study shows that maybe they should. At the German Federal Institute, Scientists in Grenoble, joined by colleagues for Risk Assessment in Berlin, used X-ray fluorescence measurements to know the particles in the skin and the lymph nodes that have located in the neck, below the arms and along the crease between the thighs and the abdomen.

Nano particles were the thinnest, made it into the lymph nodes. A technique has also used by the researchers called Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy to access changes in tissue near tattoo scraps at the molecular level.

For both the migration and long term deposit of toxic elements in the body, they had reported substantial evidence. The next step after their presence has established to look for the evidence of adverse effects, including inflammation.

In the recent years, tattoos have become mainstream fashion accessories. Some 40 percent of millennials by one estimate in the US have at least one tattoo, hidden or on display.

These days, it has not trained members who get inked in Hong Kong. More than two dozen tattoo parlours, the city has and will play gathering to the 5th annual Hong Kong and the China International Tattoo Convention at Kai Tak Crusie Terminal at the end of the month, dragging more than 300 artists from across Asia.

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