Studying the Safety of Tattoos with Mass Spectrometry and X-Rays

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Where?” “Of what?” “Why?” These are questions often asked of someone who is planning on getting a tattoo. Another common question: “Is it safe?” You can vet the cleanliness of a tattoo parlor and the artist’s qualifications, but there hasn’t been much research into what happens to ink once it enters the body. A research group recently investigated if tattoo pigment can harm skin and the lymphatic system using techniques such as mass spectrometry and X-ray fluorescence.

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