Which tattoo colours are hazardous to health?

We could define extreme body modifications as those changes in the anatomy of people made voluntarily. The European Union has imposed a ban on coloured tattoo inks and it will take effect from January 4, 2022. As of January 4, 2022, around 4,000 chemicals used in the manufacture of tattoos were banned.

The new rules on tattoo ink and permanent make-up, which came into force in the European Union in January, were aimed at reducing the risk of including ingredients that could be dangerous to health. The situation also caused the biggest change in the industry’s memory as ink manufacturers reformulated entire product lines to meet the requirements.

The EU’s ban on the registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals (REACH) on current tattoo inks came into force in January 2022, introducing new restrictions on chemicals that are considered potentially harmful, mainly affecting coloured tattoo inks.

The EU has banned 4,000 chemicals, including some azo dyes and isopropyl alcohol, which are commonly used in tattoo inks. Its legislation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical Substances (REACH), explains that safer alternatives to these harmful chemicals can easily be found on the market.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) also applies the new rules to tattoo inks imported into the EU. The new restrictions are expected to have less serious health effects such as cancer, chronic allergic reactions and other inflammatory skin reactions related to inks used for tattoos and permanent makeup.

Boris Pramatarov, 33, brims with ideas as he walks into his tattoo studio, Because Tattoo, located in a picturesque neighbourhood in southeast Brussels. “I’m excited about designing super small tattoos and working on concepts that add meaning to my client’s lives,” he said.

Originally from Bulgaria, Pramatarov has been designing tattoos in Belgium for four years and has recently started experimenting with the use of coloured tattoo inks. “I find that using coloured ink on the skin brings out my designs. The tones are nice and the coloured tattoos look good on the skin,” he says.

But his enthusiasm for showing off the colour and brilliance of his tattoos was short-lived after a pan-European ban went into effect this week restricting tattoo inks and permanent makeup that contain dangerous chemicals that could cause cancer and other health risks.

But the ban has caused great frustration in the tattoo industry. Around 175,000 tattoo artists across the EU have signed a petition to show that the new rules would kill their businesses and encourage the supply of illegal ink.

The pigments that tattoo artists refer to are Pigment Blue 15:3 and Pigment Green 7 for which there are currently no substitutes on the market.

“There are alternatives for yellow, red and orange pigments, but not for blue and green pigments. This leads to the disappearance of 60 per cent of colours by 2023 and makes colour tattoos impossible,” said tattoo artist Bold.

Red ink was described as the most dangerous due to the mercuric sulfide it contains, which has been linked to dermatitis. But blues, greens, and purples are more likely to cause granulomas, which are small bumps on the skin, indy100 reports.

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