General Question

robmandu's avatar

What tattoo inks to avoid?

Asked by robmandu (21201 points ) March 21st, 2012

Reading about Nokia’s patent application for ferromagnetic inks that provide haptic feedback. I immediately thought that such tattoo would suck if you had to go into an MRI later in life.

And so, are there specific kinds/brands/colors of tattoo ink to consider avoiding as they might lead to unexpected consequences down the road?

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3 Answers

fundevogel's avatar

As far as I know the risk of UV ink is that it hasn’t been around long enough or been tested enough to know if it’s safe in the long term. I wouldn’t go there. Maybe later it will be shown to be safe, but right now it’s a giant questionmark.

Other than that you should be fine with modern inks. There was a red ink a while back that some people had nasty reactions to and older inks used to contain nasty metals (and chances are prison ink still does) but you shouldn’t encounter those nowadays. In general contemporary inks are safer and age better than their predecessors. Anyone going to legit tattoo artist shouldn’t have to worry about bad ink.

SmashTheState's avatar

Black henna tattoos have been identified as potentially hazardous. The black ink is not really henna, it’s para-phenylenediamine, a coal tar derivative. It can permanently sensitize the skin for the rest of your life to other substances in black clothing, fur, leather, and other things, such that contact forever more causes pain and blistering.

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