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Analytical Methods for the Identification of Pigments in Tattoo Inks and Some of Their Physiological Side Effects: A Review


Wafaa Waleed Al-Qaysi*, Mohammad K. Hammood and Eqbal Naji Tawfeeq   Pages 1 - 15 ( 15 )


In this review, numerous analytical methods to distinguish pigments in tattoo, paint, and ink items are discussed. The selection of a method was dependent upon the purpose, e.g., quantification or identification of pigments. The introductory part of this review focuses on describing the importance of setting up a pigment-associated safety profile. The formation of different degradation chemical substances as well as impurity trends can be indicated through the chemical investigation of pigments in tattoo products. It is noteworthy that pigment recognition in tattoo inks can work as a preliminary method to identify the pigments in a patient's tattoo before being removed by laser therapy. Contrary to the study of banned pigments, the identification process usually requires only a few indication substances for positive dyes. In general, tattoo pigments are almost insoluble in aqueous solutions, and many organic solvents and various pigment analyses have been conducted. It is proposed that in the future, laboratories concerned with tattoo substance analysis should have access to extensive pigment specifications and spectroscopic databases. The most important and recent physiological side effects of tattooing have been discussed in this review.


Tattoo ink, analytical methods, pigments, heavy metals, side effects, physiological effects.


Institute of Analytical Chemistry, Chemo and Biosensors, University of Regensburg, Universit├Ątsstra├če 31, 93040 Regensburg, Department of Chemistry, College of Science, University of Baghdad, Al-Jadriya campus, 10071 Baghdad, Department of Biology, College of Science, University of Baghdad, Al-Jadriya campus, 10071 Baghdad

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