tatouages noir encres

European Union bans dangerous inks

The European Union is continuing its battle against substances which are harmful and dangerous to health. This time around, tattoo inks are at the heart of a European-wide ban.

According to the European Commission, 12% of the Union’s population is tattooed. A phenomenon which continues to grow, but which also worries regulators. While some countries have already banned many toxic substances, this is not the case everywhere. This Tuesday, January 4, several of them were quite simply banned. Among them, we find mercury, nickel, chromium, cobalt, methanol, but also certain red, orange, yellow, purple and blue dyes.AFP in partnership with 20 minutes.

Adopted in December 2020, this new measure therefore took effect a few days ago, although most of these substances were already banned in many countries. This is particularly the case in France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. A grace period (extension of the deadline) is foreseen for other substances such as dyes “Phthalocyanine blue” and “Phthalocyanine green”. The total ban should be effective from January 4, 2023, just to give tattoo artists time to find safer alternatives.

What health risks ?

There are many reasons for banning these substances from European tattoo parlors. According to the European Chemicals Agency, ink pigments can “Migrate from the skin to different organs such as the lymph nodes and the liver”. Since these substances are permanently injected into the skin, the subject should be treated with great care.

Especially since the health risks are numerous. The substances concerned are carcinogens, can lead to mugenetic tations and affect reproductive capacities. Some could also lead to skin allergies. According to the European Chemicals Agency, these new measures should therefore reduce the number of chronic allergic reactions and skin inflammation.

French tattoo artists see red

But these new measures are not very well received by the National Union of Tattoo Artists. The latter denounce the absence of alternatives to certain pigments which they will now have to do without. In a press release, shared on Facebook on January 2, SNAT indicated that it was discussing with the Directorate General of Health. “We will insist on the health and economic inconsistencies of the new restrictions and on the impossibility for tattoo artists to have compliant inks from January 4.”

Asked by Les Échos, the union explains in particular that the studies carried out by the European Chemicals Agency do not take into account “The notion of dosage, whereas a tattoo introduces a limited amount of product into the skin.”

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