HomeNewColoured Tattoo Ink To Be Banned In The EU Imminently

    Coloured Tattoo Ink To Be Banned In The EU Imminently

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    From January 4 onwards, tattoo artists in the EU will not be allowed to use coloured ink.

    The EU’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) has outlawed around 4,000 chemicals typically found in coloured tattoo ink, with the ban coming into effect on January 4.

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    Tattoo gunWikimedia Commons
    According to the Metro, this is because the regulatory body has said the chemicals can cause ‘cancer or genetic mutations’.

    Some of the chemicals have already been banned from being applied on top of skin, so it stands to reason that those same chemicals probably shouldn’t be tattooed into skin either.

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    Although the chemicals were outlawed in January 2021, ink manufacturers were given a grace period to find safer formulations to create coloured inks.

    Tattoo artist (Alamy)Kennedy News and Media
    That grace period expires on January 4, and many tattoo artists say that progress on creating new supplies has been slow, leaving them unsure whether they will have to turn away potential clients looking for colour tattoos.

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    There has been a particular outcry over the imminent loss of popular colours Pigment Blue 15:3 and Pigment Green 7, and REACH has given manufacturers until January 4, 2023 to find replacements for that pair of inks.

    Tattoo artists in the EU have voiced concerns that a ban on coloured inks will harm their businesses without actually stopping people from coming into contact with potentially harmful chemicals.

    Tattoo artist (Alamy)Alamy
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    REACH has been warned that a ban coming into effect before ink manufacturers have found safe alternatives is liable to lead to people who want colours in their tattoos going to ‘backyard artists’ who provide their services illegally.

    The regulatory body hopes manufacturers will develop safer alternatives in their product range before that happens.

    Scientists have not reached a consensus on the link between the chemicals contained in coloured tattoo ink and cancer, though some chemicals in the inks have been proven to be carcinogenic which means they can cause cancer.

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