A series of chemicals hazardous to health contained in tattoo inks or permanent makeup are banned from Tuesday across the European Union, where some 12% of the population is tattooed, the Commission announced.
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Seven member states have already banned them under their national legislation: France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Slovenia.
The restrictions adopted cover substances and dyes that can be carcinogenic, cause genetic mutations, affect reproductive capacity, cause skin allergies or other harmful effects on health, said a spokesperson for the European executive, Sonya. Gospodinova, during a press briefing.
Protecting the health of European citizens is our primary concern,
” she commented.
List of these prohibited or restricted substances
The regulation establishing the list of these prohibited or restricted substances (in particular mercury, nickel, chromium, cobalt, methanol, certain red, orange, yellow, purple and blue dyes) was adopted in December 2020 and comes into force on Tuesday.
For most of these banned substances, there are health-safe alternatives on the market, according to the Commission.
A grace period is foreseen for the dyes "
" (Pigment Blue 15: 3) and "
" (Pigment Green 7), the prohibition of which will not be effective until January 4, 2023, in order to to give tattoo artists time to find safe alternatives.
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) notes that ink pigments can "
migrate from the skin to different organs, such as the lymph nodes and the liver
She also points out that harmful chemicals in inks can spread throughout the body during laser tattoo removal, which "
breaks down pigments and other substances into smaller particles
Since the chemicals used in tattoo inks and permanent makeup can stay in the body for a lifetime, there is also a risk of long-term exposure to potentially harmful ingredients
,” the agency warns.
She believes that "
chronic allergic reactions and other inflammatory skin reactions (...) should decrease
" thanks to the new regulations, and that "
the same could be true for more serious effects such as cancer or cancer .
damage to our DNA or to the reproductive system