They stand by their conviction to never use vaccines but some anti-vaxxers have tattoos. Jane Hansen wonders if they realise what's in tattoo ink?
They stand by their conviction to never use vaccines but some anti-vaxxers have tattoos. Jane Hansen wonders if they realise what's in tattoo ink?

The irony of being a heavily-tattooed anti-vaxxer

There is a point that gets under my skin with anti-vaxxers.

They state they do not want to put any "toxins" like "heavy metals" in their bodies, yet most of the highest profile anti-vaxxers of late are all sporting lots of tattoos.

Koby Abberton, Bryce Cartwright, Taylor and Frank Winterstein, Sione Katoa, Dylan Walker, Josh Papalii are all against vaccines.

They falsely claim there are all sorts of nasty chemicals in them which can harm, yet they have all injected a lot of chemicals into their bodies for the sake of body art.

Now, just what do they think is in ink?

Anti-vaxxers Taylor Winterstein, Shanelle and Bryce Cartwright and Frank Winterstein
Anti-vaxxers Taylor Winterstein, Shanelle and Bryce Cartwright and Frank Winterstein

Perhaps they "should read the package insert" as Shanelle Cartwright said of vaccines when she convinced husband Bryce not to vaccinate their kids.

For a start, tattoo ink used in Australia is listed under the Federal Government's National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme. Imagine the hysteria if that is where vaccines were listed, as opposed to the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

"Tattoo inks are mixtures of chemicals injected into the skin to create a coloured pattern" it states.

Koby Abberton sporting his tattoos.
Koby Abberton sporting his tattoos.

But this is the bit I really think our inked anti-vaxxers should read:

Sione Katoa refused the flu injection.
Sione Katoa refused the flu injection.

"Tattoo inks can contain potentially harmful chemicals including metals (like arsenic and lead) and chemicals that can cause cancer or allergic reactions. It is not clear at this stage whether the amount of these chemicals present in tattoo inks is enough to harm the health of someone tattooed with them."

Arsenic and lead! Both are neurotoxic chemicals. Lead can lower your IQ, and kill you as can arsenic.

"It is also possible for some of the chemical ingredients present in tattoo inks to break down to form potentially harmful chemicals under sunlight or during laser removal," the NICNAS states.

 

Dylan Walker has also refused the flu vaccine.
Dylan Walker has also refused the flu vaccine.

The NICNAS also did a report into the chemicals in tattoo ink in 2016. It makes for harrowing reading.

"The spreadsheet consists of 1,710 entries of chemicals present in tattoo inks. This encompasses 471 individual tattoo inks containing multiple chemicals. A total of 89 unique chemicals were identified" the report states of the inks they analysed.

Chemicals like coumarin and melamine formaldehyde toluenesulfonamide polymer and titanium dioxide are listed. And heavy metals barium, chromium and lead.

But here's there really scary bit.

"Compositional analysis by overseas bodies indicates that heavy metals are often present in tattoo inks even though they are not listed …. Of the 471 tattoo inks identified as likely to be used in Australia, 193 or 41% were not compliant with ResAP (2008) 1. There were 37 chemicals or concentrations of chemicals that were not compliant."

Josh Papalii refused the flu shot.
Josh Papalii refused the flu shot.

So here we have activists who, having "done their own research" refuse safe, effective vaccines that are developed under the most stringent safety guidelines and tested thoroughly before release, and monitored in real time for any reactions by the Federal Department of Health's Surveillance of adverse events following immunisation, because they chose to believe in nonsense from outliers and grifters.

But to then, without any irony, ink themselves silly because, you know, self-expression is more important than contributing to the collective safety of their fellow Australians who do vaccinate.

I mean why trust a doctor, when plenty of tattoo artists have links to bikies? I'm sure plenty are above board, but by the looks of the NICNAS report, lots of ink is not complying with safety standards.

And to think these guys care about their health.

 

Originally published as Irony of being a heavily-tattooed anti-vaxxer



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