Public Health Education Connects Common and Scientific Discourses of Tattoos: Framing Application of the Prospect Theory

By Causenge Cangin, Purcell Taylor and Henry Comer.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

The prevailing notion of tattoo safety regulation is myopic, targeting infection control during tattoo acquisition instead of the long term health hazards associated with tattoo ink chemicals. The
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate tattoo inks. Independent lab analyses of tattoo chemicals reveal unsafe levels of hazardous chemicals and chromium. Tattoo ink contains heavy metals, as well as many carcinogenic and mutagenic compounds. For long term public health, the FDA and regulatory agencies can comprehensively regulate various aspects of the tattoo industry. The removal of tattoos are often far more costly and time-consuming than tattoo acquisition. Tattoo facilities ought to complete educational programs regarding the risks of tattoo ink. It is equally important for the industry to educate potential consumers concerning the chemical contents of tattoo ink and their long term risks. Properly-framed public health pedagogy connects the common and scientific discourses concerning tattoos. Tattoo health education utilizes the Prospect Theory to address the lesser-known prolonged health hazards of tattoos. To achieve maximum pedagogical effectiveness as assessed by behavioral changes, tattoo health curriculums can utilize risk-relevant framing strategies for the various stages of tattoos (acquisition, repair and removal).

Keywords: Heavy Metal, Carcinogenic Benzo(a)Pyrene, Tversky Kahneman, Gain-frame, Loss-frame

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.53-60. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 744.247KB).

Causenge Cangin

Research Student, Research, Declare Therapy Center, Covington, KY, USA

Causenge holds her Bachelor of Science degree with Honours from The California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, and her Master of Science degree from The University of California, Davis, California. Her research interests include epidemiology of psycho-pathology, co-morbidity, sub-clinical syndromes, trans-diagnostic pro-syndromes, adolescent or juvenile offenders, predators, victims, and addictive psycho-active substances.

Dr. Purcell Taylor

Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA

Purcell Taylor is Professor of Psychology at University of Cincinnati. He holds Ed. D. from University of Cincinnati, 1977 (School Psychology and Administration).

Henry Comer

Student, Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati, University of Cincinnati, OH, USA