Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Chemistry professor developing tattoo ingredient database

Via Ars Technica: 
Scientists at Binghamton University (State University of New York) have analyzed nearly 100 different tattoo inks and found that the manufacturers' ingredient labels (when used) are often inaccurate and that many inks contain small particles at the nanoscale that could be harmful to human cells. They presented their findings at this week's meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Chicago.

According to principal investigator John Swierk, a chemist at Binghamton, the project initially started when his group became interested in tattoos as tools for medical diagnostics. This shifted to an interest in tattoo laser removal, specifically how laser light causes tattoos to fade. "We realized we didn't understand a lot about the interaction between light and tattoos," Swierk said during a press briefing at the ACS meeting. "My group studies how light can drive chemical reactions, so it was a natural fit."

...That's why Swierk and his team have created a fledgling website, What's in My Ink? Their research will ultimately constitute the first comprehensive survey of tattoo inks in the US market, per Swierk. There is currently only rudimentary data from prior peer-reviewed studies available at the site, but once his team completes its analysis of commercial tattoo inks and the resulting data has passed through the peer review process, the site will serve as a valuable consumer resource for information about the composition of tattoo inks.
Makes sense. A bit surprising that this hasn't happened already, but I imagine that these inks are too unique/small-batch for them to be categorized easily. 

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looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20