Tattoos: What do we know about potential health risks?

Long perceived as a form of exotic self-expression in some social fringe groups, tattoos have left their maverick image behind and become mainstream, particularly for young people. Historically, tattoo-related health and safety regulations have focused on rules of hygiene and prevention of infections. Meanwhile, the increasing popularity of tattooing has led to the development of many new colours, allowing tattoos to be more spectacular than ever before. However, little is known about the toxicological risks of the ingredients used. In the Review, we summarise the issues of concern, putting them into context, and provide perspectives for the assessment of the acute and chronic health effects associated with tattooing.

The results have been published in the scientific journal The Lancet (The Lancet, 2016, volume 387, No. 10016, p395–402):

A medical-toxicological view of tattooing
Peter Laux, Tewes Tralau, Jutta Tentschert, Annegret Blume, Sascha Al Dahouk, Wolfgang Bäumler, Eric Bernstein, Beatrice Bocca, Alessandro Alimonti, Helen Colebrook, Christa de Cuyper, Lars Dähne, Urs Hauri, Paul C Howard , Paul Janssen, Linda Katz, Bruce Klitzman, Nicolas Kluger , Lars Krutak, Thomas Platzek, Victoria Scott-Lang, Jørgen Serup, Wera Teubner, Ines Schreiver, Elena Wilkniß, Andreas Luch
The Lancet, 2016

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