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Is It Safe to Color?

Posted on November 9, 2015 by in The OFI Blog


Within the last decade tattoos have not only become more socially accepted, they have also begun to be considered fashionable. But how safe are tattoos, especially those that contain the striking addition of color? Scientists have little knowledge on how colored tattoo ink affects the body because after all, tattoos are not only skin deep.

Lars Krutak, a research associate in the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), reports that “There are no regulatory requirements concerning the production and sterility of colorants, which can carry multi-resistant bacteria and carcinogens and trigger serious allergic reactions and viral infections.” Considering the yearly increase of individuals each year who choose to decorate their bodies with tattoos, Krutak’s research could certainly be considered both informative and frightening.

In an age where tattoos are becoming increasingly common throughout all levels of our society, it is certainly now, more important than ever to be selective of what chemicals allow into our bodies. If you are interested in learning more about Lars’ research, click here.