Pigment ban: EU takes action for safer tattooing products and permanent make-up colors
Brussels: The EU Commission has on 14. December 2020 took an important step to protect the health of EU citizens from dangerous chemicals. This concerns pigments and substances used in the manufacture of tattooing products and permanent make-up.
The EU chemicals legislation has adopted a new regulation. This is to ensure that EU citizens who want to get tattoos are protected. Regardless of which European member state they tattoo in and whether the tattooing products are manufactured in the EU or not.
EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said about this:
"The Commission is working hard to ensure the safety of chemicals used in everyday products. It now restricts the use of hazardous substances in inks used for tattooing. Some EU member states have already done this. Aber this restriction, we want to harmonize these measures at EU level and improve the protection of citizens. This restriction is the result of good cooperation between the Commission, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and the Member States, involving industry and NGOs (non-governmental organization)."
Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus SinkeviCius, commented. "The health and well-being of our citizens is our priority. In addition to allergies and skin problems, toxic chemicals in tattoo inks can have other adverse health effects, z. B. Cancer. Tattooing is becoming more popular in Europe. Therefore, it is urgent that we regulate these chemicals now."
So writes the press corner of the EU Commission on its website on this also:
The new regulations contain maximum concentration limits set either for groups of substances or for individual substances.
So far, EU member states have a wide variety of national regulations restricting chemicals in tattooing products. With the restriction adopted today, there will be harmonized rules across the EU. The new rules will apply after a transition period of 12 months.
From this date, tattooing products and permanent make-up containing above-limit amounts or banned substances will no longer be allowed to be placed on the market or used in the EU.
In the corresponding Official Journal of the European Union one can read these reasons and regulations.
For the industries, whether tattoo, cosmetics or even medicine, this is not only a bitter blow!
Of course, it is good to control and regulate the use of supposedly hazardous substances and chemicals when applied and used for health reasons on humans. We also do not know anyone who is not in favor of it!! However, generating its finding for a pigment ban from a lot of conjecture, theoretical calculations and assumptions without safe research and long-term studies could lead to it being worse than it was before.
For this reason, the intended consumer protection is in any case little helped by these decisions. Customers will be tattooed in the future with substitute products, alibi colors on the show shelf and fabrics. These will appear to be in compliance with the regulation, but there are neither empirical values in handling, nor findings on health consequences available. Or even worse! As in the case of the ECHA recommendation to use the brominated pigment green 36 as a now already inferior substitute for green 7.
However, it is also important to know that many of the pigments that are on the almost immeasurably long list of regulations have already been banned for years via the so-called tattooing agent regulations. Manufacturers already use appropriate alternatives for this.
Newly added are pigment blue 15:3 and just the pigment green 7. Exactly how things progress to these two pigments influencing up to over 60 percent of tattoo ink colorations, only time will tell.
It would certainly be important for further progress in the matter that tattooing products were removed from the cosmetics regulation and treated independently.