This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com
We get it. You didn’t think the little peace sign on your wrist would do harm, and the philosophical words on your back meant a lot to you at the time. In fact, you probably worried more about hiding the ink from your parents than you did about the major health issues.
However, recent research has shown that tattoo ink is actually much more dangerous to us than originally thought. According to a recent report by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, the long-term impact is very scary.
Not only is the ink made out of extremely dangerous chemicals, like carcinogens, it has traces of lead, bacteria, nickel and arsenic. As the popularity of getting inked rises, so do concerns about it causing “cancer, genetic mutations, toxic effects on reproduction, allergies or other adverse effects on health,” the report says. Additionally, the damage to the body’s lymphatic system is probably significant.
As the report gains traction, so do countries researching these health effects. European countries such as Germany, France and the Netherlands are working to regulate tattoo application, and possibly “initiate the restriction process”.
So, maybe the question to ask isn’t “does it hurt?”. Maybe it’s “does it hurt my health?”.
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