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Most Coloured Tattoo Inks To Be Banned In The EU From Next Year Due To Safety Concerns

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Tattoo artists will soon find themselves unable to fulfill their clients’ wishes as a result of European legislation that will effectively ban most coloured pigments over safety concerns. 

According to changes to the European regulations governing ink used for tattoos and other permanent make-up cannot be used for these purposes after 4th January 2022 if any one of a whole list of chemicals is present within them. 

The Commission noted that the changes were being implemented in light of the number of people with tattoos increasing every year. 

It noted that the process of tattooing caused injury to the skin barrier, leading to chemicals used becoming absorbed by the body. 

Mixtures used for tattooing generally consist of colorants and auxiliary ingredients, including solvents like isopropanol. 

The solvent is commonly used in the sterilisation of tattoo pigment but is banned for human use by the EU. While not classified as a human carcinogen, the chemical is known to have carcinogenic properties.  

Mixtures also contain stabilisers, wetting agents, pH regulators, emollients, preservatives and thickeners. 

The Commission noted that some of these substances had hazardous properties, adding that is an “unacceptable risk to human health arising from certain substances in mixtures for use for tattooing purposes above specific concentration limits”. 

The new rules could see the vast majority of coloured tattoo pigments banned as early as next year, though Malta would first need to amend its own laws to reflect the change. 

It is unclear whether or not Malta intends to do so, and if so when this will be happening. 

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Yannick joined Lovin Malta in March 2021 having started out in journalism in 2016. He is passionate about politics and the way our society is governed, and anything to do with numbers and graphs. He likes dogs more than he does people.

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