The environmental safety of tattoo inks has recently been the subject of a lawsuit brought by the American Environmental Safety Institute (AESI) against Huck Spaulding Tattoo Equipment. The settlement of the lawsuit stipulated that HSTE must alert consumers of the dangers of tattoo inks. Tattoo inks contain the heavy metals arsenic and lead which make tattos permanent. Not only are these metals harmful to the environment when tattoo inks are improperly disposed of, but they can also cause adverse health effects.
The information provided by jepenna was interesting but it didn’t really touch on the environment. Besides the fact that a tattoo gun requires energy to operate, all equipment used needs to be completely sterile. That means everything is individually packaged in vacuum sealed blue plastic bags, like at the hospital, and lots of latex gloves. This does produce a lot of waste since the plastic and latex must be disposed of as well as the used needles; these are a biohazard.
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