Tattoo Ink Might Increase The Risk Of Developing Cancer

Photographed by Lauren Perlstein.
Let’s face it: tattoos are always going to be cool. With options ranging from delicate watercolour to intricate single-needle etchings and even glow-in-the-dark designs these days, they’ve never been more desirable either.

However, science brings bad news. Tattoo inks may be toxic and could be banned, according to a report by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), which regulates the use of chemicals across Europe.

The inks can cause skin problems including allergic reactions, itching that can last for years, and an increased risk of cancer. Fertility and child development may also be affected, the Daily Mail reported.

Red ink is reportedly the most dangerous when it comes to health, with blue, green and black also classed as problematic.

The ECHA is about to publish a list of chemicals used in tattoo inks and will highlight which ones are likely to be banned in the European Union. If restrictions are needed, they will likely come into force within a year, it said.

Tattoo inks are currently not subject to the same regulations as drugs and food, despite the fact that they're injected into the body.

This may come as a surprise considering the popularity of tattoos: A fifth of adults in the UK and nearly a quarter of Americans have them. They’re more common among younger adults, with 33 being the average age at which British people get their first tattoo, according to YouGov.

The news will come as a blow to anyone hoping to get inked soon (you might want to think twice before you follow Cheryl's lead, however.)

But at least we can still enjoy cooing over elaborate designs on Instagram and sketching our dream future inking. (Just us?). Whatever your thoughts on tattoos, you've got to admit they can be works of art.

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