DETROIT (WWJ) If Mom warned you not to get a tattoo, it turns out she may be right.
Some experts believe nano-particles in tattoo ink could enter the bloodstream and accumulate in the spleen and kidneys, harming the body’s ability to filter impurities.
European studies have found that some ink contains known carcinogens, but there have been no systematic studies about tattoo ink safety in the United States.
What to believe? Providence Hospital Environmental Medicine expert Dr. Michael Harbut says there’s just not enough existing research to know for sure.
“We used to think it took a fair amount of mercury, and cobalt and lead and benzopyrenes, but the more data that gets reported into the medical literature, the more it appears tiny, tiny amounts can wreak havoc,” Harbut said.
State and local governments regulate the actual tattoo process, and although tattoo inks fall under FDA regulation as cosmetics and color additives, the agency has not traditionally regulated them.