Tattoo Ink Isn't Regulated by the FDA, Here's What Happens Once It's in You

A new study has found that tattoo ink nanoparticles spread throughout your lymphatic system when you get a tattoo. What else happens?

Tattooing has a bit of a dark side. The ink itself. Which is not regulated by the FDA. Which is fine. You're just putting it into your body forever.

When you get a tattoo, the ink is repeatedly injected into your skin with a needle. The needle penetrates the top layer and deposits ink into next layer. All this stabbing causes the immune system to freak out (a lot).  Macrophages swarm to the area, and eat the ink particles. This is how they'd stop a bacterial invasion, but unlike bacteria, the ink doesn't break down inside the cell. Instead, the macrophage remains trapped in the dermis, with a belly full of ink.

The big problem is, because it's unregulated, inks can use "contaminants and preservatives like nickel, chromium, manganese or cobalt." There are 200 different colorants and additives in inks... and no one is really testing what they might do to your body.

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