The European Chemicals Agency has warned that the inks used to create tattoos could be toxic and should be banned. On top of increasing the risk of developing cancer, tattoo ink can also cause allergic reactions and itching that may last for years. Red ink was found to be the most hazardous, while blues, greens and blacks were also deemed risky.

The agency said; "Many reports show concerns for public health stemming from the composition of inks used for tattooing. The most severe concerns are allergies caused by the substances in the inks and possible carcinogenic, mutagenic or reproductive toxic effects."

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are more risks:

  • Sometimes bumps called granulomas form around tattoo ink. Tattooing also can lead to keloids — raised areas caused by an overgrowth of scar tissue.
  • If the equipment used to create your tattoo is tainted with infected blood, you can get one of many bloodborne diseases — including tetanus, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
  • This happens rarely, but tattoos or permanent makeup might cause swelling or burning in the affected areas during MRI's. In some cases, tattoo pigments can interfere with the quality of the image.
Medication or other treatment might be needed if you experience an allergic reaction to the tattoo ink or you develop an infection or other skin problem near a tattoo.