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Evidence has been found that nanoparticles from the ink can leave the skin - most likely via blood and lymphatic vessels - and be transported to other organs of the body. Scientists are concerned that toxins in the dyes may accumulate in the spleen or the kidneys.
Anthony Amis a toxic chemicals campaigner for Friend of the Earth said "Nanoparticles are not the only potentially dangerous ingredients in tattoo inks. Many inks contain known carcinogens such as Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). Benzo(a)pyrene (a PAH), is a listed by International Agency for Research on Cancer as a Class 1 Carcinogen and has been found in tattoo inks. This means people are having cancer-producing particles injected directly into their skin. Tattoo ink pigments can also decompose in the presence of sunlight to form toxic chemicals – some of which are known or suspected carcinogens."
"There is currently a regulatory black hole in Australia regarding tattoo inks. Because they are not classified as cosmetics, there are no regulations stating what chemical substances can be used in tattoo inks. There is a clear need for the mandatory labelling of tattoo inks, with chemical safety sheets to provide information about what is in the ink. Both Federal and State regulators need to act urgently on these issues" concluded Mr Amis.
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