Health Care

Toxic tattoo ink nanoparticles pose long-term health risk by clogging lymph nodes

Toxic tattoo ink nanoparticles pose long-term health risk by clogging lymph nodes”

However, scientists say small amounts of the chemical can travel to your lymph nodes and stays in the bloodstream for life, which isn't good because your lymph nodes are what keeps your immune system ticking.

"We already knew that pigments could travel in the lymphatic network because the nodes are colored after a tattoo". Study author Dr Hiram Castillo, from the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France, said: "When someone wants to get a tattoo, they are often very careful in choosing a parlour where they use sterile needles that haven't been used previously". Particles still finer were also present in the lymph nodes. They contain preservatives and contaminants such as cobalt, chromium, manganese and nickel.

Getting a permanent tattoo can cause chronic enlargement of the lymph nodes - an important part of our immune system - a study has warned. Allergic and other reactions to tattoo inks are not uncommon.

"It is the response of the body to clean the site of entrance of the tattoo".

They found a range of particle sizes in the skin-up to several micrometers in diameter-but only nano-size particles in the lymph nodes.

The researchers are anxious because the persistence of a foreign body in the lymph nodes may cause chronic inflammation. Titanium dioxide, the most common ingredient in tattoo inks after carbon black, is a white pigment used in food additives, sun screens and paints. "What we didn't know is that they do it in a nano form, which implies that they may not have the same behaviour as the particles at a micro level". But what we didn't know is that these colors are related to nanoparticles.

Scientists also used the technique of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy to assess biomolecular changes in the tissues in the proximity of the tattoo particles.

Before you go running to the nearest tattoo shop, new research suggests tattoos could give you cancer.

But the research could help determine not just the effects of tattoos, but substances such as cosmetics and sunscreens, which also contain titanium dioxide.

Next the scientists plan to find out how the pigments and heavy metals travel to more distant internal organs and tissues.

Still, the presence of such nanoparticles raises questions about the potential health consequences of tattoos, the researchers argue.

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