• azo dye;
  • laser - mutagenicity;
  • tattoo

Abstract:  Decorative tattoos have become a common feature of many societies. Their popularity appears mainly driven by fashion, and scant attention has been paid to any associated risk. The risks can be associated either with the tattooees’ proclivity for risk taking in general, or with the substances used in the tattoos.

It is well established that tattoo pigments wander widely in the body after they have been injected, and research now suggests that azo pigments may become mutagenic after exposure to either natural light or laser light. This may not only affect the risk profile of tattoos themselves, but also tattoo removal using lasers.