Are Tattoos Toxic?

We tend to believe that the Food and Drug Administration is responsible for the safety of everything and anything that goes into our bodies. Truth is, however, that many things slip by them and never make it onto their clipboard until it’s too late. This has certainly been the case for vaping and, it now appears, tattoos.

The truth of the matter is that the FDA has never gotten involved in determining the safety of tattoos and has never approved any ink for injection into the skin.

This is somewhat shocking when you consider that almost 40% of us have tattoos.

Is it possible that tattoos might be toxic?

Studies have shown that many of the colors used in tattooing actually contain heavy metals. Red, for example, often contains mercury, a substance that never leaves the body and continues to build up over the years eventually causing mercury poisoning.

The FDA has recently begun to post fact sheets pointing out the toxicity of inks. The problem isn’t just heavy metals. Many inks contain methanol, formaldehyde, antifreeze, aldehydes and detergents. These are being injected under the skin, finding their way into the bloodstream.

Finally, a recent study found that tattooing might be the most common way that the Hepatitis C virus is transmitted. People with tattoos are the 4 times more likely to report having Hepatitis C than those without tattoos.

Those are some serious considerations if you are thinking about getting a tattoo.

Potential Exposure to Metals in Laundered Shop Towels

If you’re using laundered shop towels in your facility, you might be exposing yourself to elevated levels of heavy metals, levels that exceed what’s allowed in drinking water. Apparently the problem is getting worse and worse. The latest study, commissioned by Kimberly-Clark, found “that ‘clean’ shop towels sampled from 26 different industrial sites were significantly more contaminated with heavy metals than in 2003.”

Because the supposedly “clean” towels contain heavy metals and workers using them end up with heavy metals on their hands, they end up ingesting them.

Read more about which heavy metals you might be ingesting, how they might be affecting your health and what to do about it at