European Agency Says Red Tattoo Ink May Cause Cancer

European Agency Says Red Tattoo Ink May Cause CancerJuly 27, 2016 — A new study has found that tattoo ink may cause cancer, with red ink more dangerous than other colors, according to The Sun.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) will soon publish a list of chemicals they found in tattoo inks — and they are exploring whether they should be banned in Europe.

In the meantime, they say inks are potentially toxic and “could increase the risk of developing cancer.” Red inks are the most dangerous, followed by blue, green, and black. The agency warned:

“The most severe concerns are allergies caused by the substances in the inks and possible carcinogenic, mutagenic or reproductive toxic effects.”

There are other reasons the FDA says you should “think before you ink.” Even if a tattoo parlor is clean and the artist is hygienic, there is no way of knowing if the tattoo ink itself is contaminated.

The result can be a painful and disfiguring skin reaction that can cause rashes, bumps, itching, and infections that are very hard to treat. The reaction may occur immediately or after a few years.

This is not the first time red ink has been linked to cancer. In September 2014, a case report described a 48 year-old man who developed squamous cell carcinoma just four months after he received a tattoo.

The cancer spread rapidly — but only in the red areas where non-toxic organic “Dark Red” by Eternal Ink was used. He eventually had to undergo a painful skin graft in which doctors transplanted healthy skin from his arm to replace the cancerous tattoo on his leg.

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