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Tattoo Ink Does Not Lead To Skin Cancer
Something that I've been seeing a lot recently and feel needs to be discussed with facts, is the link of tattoos to cancer. Before I even continue, let me point out that there isn't one. Now... on a chemical information website, they put out an article called, "Germany cracks down on use of carcinogenic dyes in tattoo parlours". This obviously sparked my attention for further reading. The gist of their article is that a German agency, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), has tightened the controls on the use of labeling of dyes used by tattoo shops. The Tattooing Agents Ordinance was passed in mid-November last year, and took effect May 1st. What I didn't find anywhere in their article, or the originating article is any mention of anything being carcinogenic whatsoever. Seems like a rash judgement to say tattoo inks are cancer-causing in the title, when there's absolutely nothing even remotely close to that mentioned in the articles...

After reading this, I decided to do a little more research on this topic; tattoos causing skin cancer. In an online dermatology journal they talk about the relationship between tattoos and skin cancer. The main focus of the article is that tattoos make it more difficult to locate melanomas. This makes since to me. If you tattoo your arm black, and you develop skin cancer, it's going to make it a bit more difficult to see a black mole on the skin. They also state several times that, "there is no proven causative link between tattoos and melanoma development". Hmmm... I need more.

Just today, May 5th, there was an article posted in the New York Times called "The Claim: Tattoos Can Increase the Risk of Skin Cancer." They start out by recognizing that a lot of tattoo inks contain various metals and how there may be a link there, but they immediately follow up with an interview with Dr. Ariel Ostad, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at N.Y.U. Langone Medical Center in Manhattan. He points out how tattooing inks are absorbed into the skin on a cellular level, and that tattoo ink is unlikely to cause any harm (other than the obvious trauma to the skin to get it under there). When asked point blank if tattoos can lead to cancer, he stated, "unequivocally no."

He feels that the link between skin cancer and tattoos is most likely caused by getting a tattoo over an existing mole, which then turns cancerous.

So, do tattoos cause cancer?

No, there is no evidence anywhere of tattoo ink being injected under the skin to cause skin cancer.


.: Adam
.: Adam
Since 2003, Adam Callen has been the editor and publisher of, not the largest or oldest full-spectrum body modification publication on the planet, but pretty damn awesome =). Copyright © 2023 Adam Callen. Permission is granted to reprint this article in its entirety as long as credit is retained and usage is non-commercial. Requests to publish edited or shortened versions must be confirmed in writing. For bibliographical purposes this article was first published May 5, 2009 in New York City, US.

I hope someone sees the humor in this =)
Don't forget that around 3 years back you'd get cancer from eating a Pot Noodle!

Oh the humour!
Posted on May 5, 2009 (4:27pm)
freaking everything causes cancer these days..even burnt food :/ so much for me eating hot dogs ever again...
Posted on May 5, 2009 (5:03pm)
phew! thats a relief !!
Posted on May 5, 2009 (5:29pm)
It cannot be confirmed if all tattoo ink causes cancer or not. Many tattoo ink's MSDS sheets list pigments that do not have MSDS sheets. For example, many tattoo inks contain Black 7. This pigment does not have a MSDS sheet. It has not been tested for being a carcinogen. Tattoo ink companies do not disclose their suppliers. Most pigment suppliers are in China. Do you trust China?
Posted on May 5, 2009 (5:38pm)
AR is there anything I can do that doesnt give me caner!!? Someone out there sure likes boring people! lmao
Posted on May 6, 2009 (4:31am)
I'm not scarred of tattoo ink.
I tattoo with glow in the dark.
Old recipes for white ink calls for lead oxide.
Did Huck Spaulding die of lead poisoning?

I am only pointing out inaccuracies.
I really don't mean to come off as a tard.
Posted on May 6, 2009 (8:15am)
If you look for it hard enough, anything can cause cancer. But most of the "carcinogenic" things the media talk about are are far less dangerous than the natural radiation any one of us is subjected to each and every day...
Posted on May 9, 2009 (8:26am)
Oh come on now...
we get cancer from breathing in the air around us.
i can't believe that this was a scare.
Posted on June 8, 2009 (9:38pm)
this just go to show how paranoid people are. now whenever people say this shit to me i can show them this! :D

thanks bro!
Posted on July 10, 2009 (6:51pm)
Posted on August 12, 2009 (1:03am)
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