Where does the ink go?
The first of its kind, a new study looked at where and what happens to tattoo ink after it's been put into the body. The study found that it travels throughout the body. This is the first study that tracks organic and inorganic pigments as well as toxic impurities within tissues with tattoos.
When getting a tattoo it is not only important to make sure you visit a reputable place, i.e. clean, sterile needles are used, but maybe check the chemical composition of colors as well. It is suspected that micro/nano-particles from tattoo ink travel into the lymph nodes. Heavy metals such as nickel, chromium, manganese or cobalt are commonly found in the ink. One of the core ingredients, carbon black along with the second most common ingredient along with titanium dioxide (TiO2) a white tint used to mix with other colors are used extensively. TiO2 is also commonly used in food additives, sunscreens, paints. However, this tint may cause delayed healing, skin irritation, and itching. With this research, the authors feel they have a much better picture of tissue harm when the pigment is in place.
Nanoparticles can translocate throughout the body as an irritant which causes inflammation and can turn underlying genes on for autoimmune conditions. The inks used for tats are the same inks that are used to paint cars.
"The researchers believe that the above is ample evidence of migration and long-term deposition of toxic elements from tattoo pigments for long-term irritation and inflammation, both locally and systemically."