Highest Rated Comments

intengineering151 karma

We haven't differentiated really between EU and US inks. Most of what we've looked at are what is available in the US and the same product seems to be available overseas. In chatting with ink manufacturers, my sense is that they don't really have alternatives to many of the banned pigments (e.g., blues and greens) and will likely just pull those inks from the market.

In terms of industry, a major project we are working on right now is just understanding what's in the ink bottle versus whats on the label (if it is labeled). We are finding a pretty high number of discrepancies, some of which are probably minor (e.g., using ethyl alcohol instead of the listed isopropyl alcohol) but in other cases we are finding different pigments in the bottles or one additive swapped for another. As a starting point, a complete and accurate listing of ink ingredients seems like an important first step. -JRS

intengineering138 karma

Our work is funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health. We don't receive any material or financial support from the body art industry. -JRS

intengineering111 karma

We honestly don't know the definitive answer on carcinogenicity but certainly the pigments used in tattoo inks have real concerns associated with them. Definitely applying sun screen can't hurt since UV degradation is a real and not understood pathway. For someone who is very concerned, keeping tattoos covered in general is probably the safest bet since we also don't understand how visible light can impact degradation. -JRS

intengineering56 karma

Unfortunately, because we don't understand the potential carcinogenicity of the pigments it's a hard question to answer. One thing that I don't think most folks understand is that pretty much all tattoo inks use a common set of pigments. The difference between "good" and "poor" inks appears to be in the processing and additives. -JRS

intengineering46 karma

I don't but that has more to do with very few of my friends having tattoos when I was growing up and in my 20s. I have nothing against tattoos but they never felt like a priority for me. -JRS