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STUDY: EU report warns of risks for disease
JOURNAL: European Research Commission
AUTHORS: Philippe Busquin
ABSTRACT: Fans of tattooing are putting poisonous chemicals into their skin because of widespread ignorance about the substances used in tattooing dyes.
COMMENTARY: WOULD YOU INJECT car paint into your skin?,” the Commission asked in a statement accompanying its report on the health risks of tattooing and body-piercing.
It said most chemicals used in tattoos were industrial pigments originally used for other purposes, such as automobile paints or writing inks, and there was little or no safety data to support their use in tattoos.
In addition, laws demanding tattoo artists use gloves and sterile needles did not include rules about the dyes, meaning they could be impure and dirty without breaking the law.
The report said that as well as the risk of catching diseases such as HIV, hepatitis, or bacterial infections from dirty needles, tattooing could cause skin cancer, psoriasis, toxic shock syndrome or even behavioral changes. It said two deaths caused by tattooing or body-piercing had been reported in Europe since the end of 2002.