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Tattoo ink linked to skin cancer say Department of Medical Sciences

The Department of Medical Sciences have warned that some tattoo inks contain metals that have been lined to skin problem including cancer.

Dr Apichai Mongkok said the Bureau of Cosmetic and Hazardous Substances discovered that out of 52 random tests four sampled contained arsenic as high as 14.64 micrograms per gram and a further four samples contained cadmium as high as 7.89mcg/g.

Asean regulations on cosmetic products mandate arsenic contamination of less than 5mcg/g, while Thai law requires cadmium to be less than 3mcg/g.

Thirteen samples contained bacteria and one contained Pseudo-monas aeruginosa, Apichai said. The bacteria rate was 35,000 to 10 million colonies per gram, compared with the safety standard of 1,000 per gram.

He said prolonged exposure to the metals in question could cause skin cancer, while bacteria cause infections to lungs, or skin and eye irritations. P aeruginosa is the cause of ecthyma gangrenosum, a skin infection.

As the Food and Drug Administration did not categorise tattoo ink as a type of cosmetic,The risk of substances that are not sterile was prominent, hence people – especially women keen on tattooing lips and eyebrows – should be cautious and get the services from reliable sources.

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