The BfR has for the first time detected hydrogen cyanide following laser treatment of a blue tattoo pigment
As tattoos are becoming more popular, so is the trend to get them removed again. However, data on the assessment of the safety of removal methods is not available yet. Using state-of-the-art analytical methods, the BfR has now identified the fragmentation products resulting from ruby laser treatment of the copper-containing pigment phthalocyanine blue. These include 1,2-benzene dicarbonitrile, benzonitrile, benzene and hydrogen cyanide. The potential risks vary depending on the size of the tattoo, pigment concentration, part of the body affected, irradiation dose, and laser wavelength used.
The article has been published in the Nature Publishing Group magazine Scientific Reports
Formation of highly toxic hydrogen cyanide upon ruby laser irradiation of the tattoo pigment phthalocyanine blue
Ines Schreiver, Christoph Hutzler, Peter Laux, Hans-Peter Berlien, Andreas Luch
Scientific Reports 5, Articlenumber: 12915 (2015)