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Health risk assessment: Heavy metals in tattoo ink


This report provides a generic health risk assessment for heavy metals [Barium (Ba), lead (Pb), nickel (Ni), hexavalent chromium [Cr (VI)], mercury (Hg) cadmium (Cd), antimony (Sb) and arsenic (As)] in tattoo inks. While risks associated with other metals have occasionally been examined in relation to tattoo inks, these eight metals are of consistent concern and the current study is restricted to consideration of these eight metals. This report considers exposure to heavy metals in tattoo inks applied by professional tattoo artists. Temporary tattoos such as henna and risks involving self-tattooing are not under the scope of this report. The report also only includes common commercial tattoo inks and does not include other inks such as traditional tattoo ink from organic material or alternative ink such as fluorescent tattoo ink.