Berlin / DPA
Not only tattoo inks but also used needles can probably cause allergies. "When tattooing, the particles of chromium and nickel can come off the needles and enter the lymph nodes via the blood," says Ines Schreiver of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR).
Schreiber has published a study with colleagues in the journal "Toxicology of Particles and Fibers". As a result, metals causing allergies dissolve particularly frequently when titanium dioxide is used, contained in many tattoo colors such as green, red and blue.
Common tattoo needles are made of an alloy that also contains about 6-8% nickel and 20% chromium. Both metals are toxic and can trigger allergies if they break down.
According to Schreiver, this new discovery is a coincidence: "We discovered metallic particles in the study of tattoo inks, and in detective work we found that they came from needle abrasion."
In a previous study, researchers had previously shown that the toxic pigments of tattoo inks could accumulate for years in the lymph nodes. It has now been proven that needle particles are also found in these organs of the immune system, explains Schreiver.
To what extent deposits are harmful to health and cause allergies, need to be deepened. This would require in-depth studies with several thousand participants over several years.
If colored tattoos are more dangerous than black tattoos, could not say exactly. "The lower black color may also contain nickel at high concentrations," the researchers said.