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Letter: Getting a tattoo puts you at risk of infection; Voice of the North.


PLEASE allow me to leave your readers in no doubt as to the strength of my argument against the "celebration of body adornment" at Woodhorn Museum (The Journal, July 10).

The exhibition of tattoos has no international dimension. Tattooing has been around as long as humans have been around. Tattooing has become a part of the culture of almost all societies.

The gallery of tattoos at Woodhorn is an astonishingly parochial gathering of flamboyant and gorgeously coloured local lads and lasses from Ashington and Blyth; so narrow and restricted in scope, so cheap and nasty.

Tattooing has many health risks. Getting a tattoo puts you at risk of serious infectious diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, tetanus, dermatitis, impetigo, flare ups of existing eczema, allergic reactions and thick scars called keloids. A person who receives a tattoo is prohibited from donating blood for six months without exception.

Some of the pigments used (especially Yellow No.7) are known to break down into toxic chemicals in the body when exposed to LW light, resulting in degradation products migrating to the kidneys and liver. The sun will drain the colour over time and the tattooed area could be more susceptible to harmful rays.

The good news is that the tetanus risk is largely prevented by having an up-to-date tetanus booster prior to being tattooed.

Tattoos are still associated with criminality while conspicuous tattoos and other body modification can make gainful employment very difficult in many fields.

For your readers with a penchant for forensic science, it may be of interest to learn that tattoos are used by forensic pathologists to help them identify burned, putrefied or mutilated bodies.

Tattoo pigment is deep enough in the skin that even severe burns will often not destroy a tattoo.

This exhibition must be dismantled now. Do not wait until October 28. Rip it out before any more of our children can see it. I sincerely hope that some of your readers agree.

TM PATTERSON, Ashington, Northumberland
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 31, 2007
Previous Article:The Journal: Flaw in the system must be rectified.
Next Article:Letter: The police are being stretched to limit; Voice of the North.

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