Metal from tattoo needles stays under the skin | TIME ONLINE 2

Metal from tattoo needles stays under the skin | TIME ONLINE

One in ten Germans has a tattoo (Current issues in
Kluger, 2015
) – and no
Tattooed people rarely develop a contact allergy (dermatology: Wenzel et al.

Until now, scientists thought this was due to colors containing toxic substances and metals
can. They walk under the skin during the tattoo and in the lymph nodes. Now, researchers have
For the first time, it has been proven that metals are also rubbed on needles when tattooing
be (particle
and toxicology of fibers:
Schreiver et al., 2019
). Metals, especially
Iron, chromium and nickel are distributed under the skin and in the lymph nodes.
And could thus favor allergies, suspicious
Scientist of a working group of the Federal Institute of Risk Assessment.

They examined samples of skin and lymph nodes for the study
dead people who have been tattooed. They found particles that came out
a mixture of iron, chromium and nickel existed and close to
The titanium particles had fallen back. The hypothesis: iron-chromium-nickel particles
came from tattoo needles and were abraded with titanium. titanium
is an extremely hard metal that comes in several tattoo colors. tattoo needles
There is about six to eight percent nickel, about fifteen to twenty percent
Chrome and steel, mainly iron. Mostly chrome
and nickel are known to promote contact allergies.

To confirm their hypothesis, the researchers tried to eliminate
that the metal particles came from another source. For this, they examined 50
different tattoo colors depending on whether they contain chromium and nickel.
The result: in the colors, none of the metals could be detected. Also tattooed
they tick the skin with two different colors, a container of titanium, and
a black color without titanium. In the color containing titanium, they found
many more metal particles under the skin. In addition, the needle was, as in the electron microscope
showed, very worn.

Colors and their toxic ingredients remain the main problem

This show, the authors write that particles of tattoo needles
rubs off and goes under the skin. Ines Schreiver, lead author of the study and director
the junior research group on tattooing at the BfR,
TIME ONLINE said: "I was always waiting for something metal
when the tattoo passes. On this subject, so many iron filings in the skin
but I am surprised. "

To detect metal particles, researchers used a
X-ray fluorescence analysis. This X-ray technique allowed
allow them to determine the exact composition of the skin samples. For special
high resolution images, in which we also see the tiny nanoparticles,
researchers with their samples at the European Synchrotron in
Grenoble, where electrons are accelerated barely 850 meters, especially for
produce intense X-rays.

Only before
Two years ago, the same research group was able to show that color pigments
tattoo ink with its metallic impurities in the lymph nodes
be transported and stay there for years (Nature Scientific
Schreiver et al., 2017
). Colors and their partially toxic substances
According to Ines Schreiver, ingredients remain the main problem: "
The composition is not well adjusted. "

However, the study can not prove a direct link with the development of allergies. This requires broader epidemiological investigations.