Tattoos are considered an appealing embellishment and have been around since times immemorial. While some people love getting every inch of their arms inked, others are happy with a tiny symbol on the ankle or the nape. The choice of the art form, symbols, colours, and language varies from person to person.

Many go to the length of researching about various art forms before settling down for a preferred illustration. It is common to search for images, but we often forget to get the details of the tattoo ink being used.

This lack of information can cost you dearly if you decide to undertake laser tattoo removal in Melbourne. The technician will need to know the ink type to work on it.

That is why knowing about the components of the ink should ideally be the most significant part of your inking process. To make things more transparent, let us understand what the tattoo ink is made from and whether it is safe for use.

Tattoo Inks Used In Australia

According to National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNA), the tattoo inks are made from chemicals that are inserted into the epidermis and dermis (layers of the skin) to display a creation of the artist.

The cosmetic tattoo inks are a bit different in composition when compared to artistic tattoos as they stay in the skin for a shorter duration. These inks can be harmful due to the presence of unsafe chemicals which contain metals like arsenic and lead that can lead to health risks such as allergic reactions and even cancer.

A study conducted by NICNAS which investigated several tattoo inks being used in Australia and interviewed various tattoo professionals revealed that out of 49 inks only four complied with the European standards.

An alarming result showed the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the inks, which are found to be carcinogenic in nature. Other constituents of the inks used in Australia which do not follow the prescribed standards include copper, barium, amines, mercury and several colourants.

Is It Safe To Get Tattooed?

According to research conducted by the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, the chemicals in the tattoo ink travel inside the body in the form of micro and nanoparticles and can reach the lymph nodes. The study also suggested the deposition of toxic elements for an extended period in the body.

Thus it becomes imperative for people getting a tattoo to enquire about the composition of the ink and ensure that it is made from non-toxic materials. There are a variety of other side-effects of tattoos such as rashes, infections, inflammation, burning, bumps, and swelling.

Sometimes, it can also lead to blood-related diseases such as hepatitis B and C as well as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). There is no conclusive evidence which proves that tattoos can cause cancer. However, some of the chemicals present in ink are carcinogenic.

General Regulations For Tattoo Inks

The Therapeutic Goods Administration has provided the Poisons Standard which does not allow the use of specific chemicals in the tattoo ink.

If a tattoo ink is found containing poison, it will be considered an offence under state and territory laws. The tattoo parlours, artists and the beauticians in Melbourne all must adhere to the health and safety guidelines of Victoria.

How To Ensure A Safe Tattooing Experience?

Before you get comfortable for the inking process, you must check the ink bottles being used by the tattoo artist. Read the ingredients and make sure that it is not unsuitable for use as tattoo ink. This information is also necessary when you opt for tattoo removal by a qualified laser technician.

You must know about the dangerous chemicals mentioned in the Poisons Standard and ensure that any of these substances is not mentioned on the label of the ink bottle. If you find any discrepancy, you must report the matter to the health department of Victoria.

Where Should I Go To Get Inked?

It will be a bad idea to rely on an amateur artist who is doing the job at a much lesser price. You must research about the best professionals in Melbourne who have been in the business for long and have a long list of satisfied customers.

You can get references from your friends and colleagues who have tattoos. Also, you must ask a lot of questions from the tattoo artist and ensure that they provide aftercare service for follow-up visits to examine the healing of the area.

Health And Safety Precautions

As a general practice, the tattoo artist must be aware of the Code of Practice for Skin Penetration Procedures, and the tattoo parlour must be clean and hygienic. The artist must wash his hands and wear a fresh pair of disposable gloves to conduct the procedure.

The equipment must be sterilised, and a new needle must be inserted into the machine. All the things that will touch your skin must be new and sterilised.


Among the many reasons that have made people rethink their tattoos, the composition of the ink is the least noticed factor. However, it must be given precedence when you are getting tattooed for your own safety and effective laser tattoo removal in Melbourne. The technician needs the information for the best results.

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