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New EU regulation: are tattoo artists running out of color?


Every fifth German citizen is tattooed, often motley. But since the beginning of the year the EU has banned certain colors because they may be toxic. The industry is upset.

Read the video transcript here

A visit to the “oldest tattoo parlor in Germany” - motifs have been getting under your skin here since 1946, also in color.

But the colorful skin painting is largely over for the time being.

Since January 4th, many chemicals contained in tattoo inks have been banned across the EU by the so-called REACH regulation.

They are potentially dangerous or not sufficiently researched, so the assessment from Brussels.

The result: many colors are no longer allowed to be used, others are to be banned in 2023.

Sebastian Makowski, tattoo artist

»The effect of the new EU regulation, this REACH regulation, is that we basically have to throw away all the colors we have because they are all no longer compliant. And so far there is not much besides black and white, from a single manufacturer, across the EU. That means that many of our customers drop out, want the color because the color just doesn't exist and these customers first say: then I won't get a tattoo for the time being. "

The ban was already decided in 2020, but in the transitional period that has now passed, manufacturers have not produced enough replacement colors.

There are also differences between the EU and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment regarding the color pigments blue and green, which are to be banned in 2023.

The latter believes that the toxicity of the color pigments has not been adequately proven, although a health risk assessment is not fully possible, but there is "no further acute need for action." Nevertheless, the prohibition is in place.

Sebastian Makowski, tattoo artist

"Nobody really wants to believe it, because it is simply completely surreal to decide such a thing, to paralyze an entire branch of the economy in Europe that is already down due to Corona, that's just brain burned."

And even if there are already some EU-compliant colors, there is currently little information available about the durability and appearance of these colors.

Many tattoo artists do not want to use their customers as guinea pigs - so many tattoos remain colorless for the time being.

Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2022-01-11

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