Tattoos can cause cancer and mutations – and one color is potentially more toxic than others, according to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
An ECHA research in 2017 has investigated possible tattooing risks. The agency said: “Many reports show significant concerns for public health stemming from the composition of inks used for tattooing.”
“The most severe concerns are allergies. They can occur due to the substances in the inks and possible carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic effects,” an agency spokesman told Kate Nelson of The Independent.
Red ink can lead to dermatitis – swelling and soreness – due to it containing mercury sulphide. Meanwhile red, blue, green and purple ones are more likely to cause granulomas – little ridges of bumps on the skin.
ECHA has also asked the public to contribute to the research. The National Health Service (NHS) of UK has also warned of the dangers of ‘black’ or ‘neutral’ henna.
Different to authentic henna, which is orange in color, this darker substance it may contain levels of a chemical dye ‘so powerful and toxic that it is illegal to use it on the skin’.
The NHS warned: “If you see a shop offering black tattoos, don’t get one. It could leave you scarred for life and put you at risk of a life-threatening allergic reaction.”
Anyone suffering an allergic reaction should contact a doctor as soon as possible.