keywords: Carcinogen, heavy metals, potential health risk, tattoo ink
The aim of this study is to determine the concentration of cadmium, lead, nickel, mercury and zinc in three different imported black tattoo ink sold in Zaria, Nigeria. Three commonly different brands of black tattoo ink coded BTN1, BTN2 and BTN3 being sold in Zaria town were randomly purchased. Each brand of the tattoo ink was mixed, sample taken and digested using a mixture of concentrated acids (HNO3/HClO4/H2SO4/H2O2 ratio 3:2:1:1).The concentrations of the metals were determined using Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS).One-Way Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was done at 95% confidence limit on the data obtained.The results of the analysis indicated that the concentrations of Cd, Pb, Ni, Hg and Zn were found to be in the range of 2.357 – 2.554 mg/Kg, 3.640 – 6.514 mg/Kg, 1.859 – 2.837 mg/Kg, 0.499 – 0.638 mg/ kg, and 36.272 – 47.008 mg/Kg, respectively. These values (except that of Zn) were higher than the given EPA’s Guidelines in 2012. The one-way ANOVA showed that there was no significant difference (P greather than 05) between the metal levels in the different brands of black ink. This result reveals that the type of pigment used in tattoo inks contributes to its heavy metal content.The use of tattoo inks could result in an increase in the heavy metal level in human body which could lead to health problems.
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