New studies have revealed that tattoo ink can be toxic and, according to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), many of the potentially deadly chemical ingredients should be banned.
The organization’s report links tattoo ink to an increase in the risk of cancer as well as causing long-term skin conditions, such as painful itching and severe allergic reactions.
While a detailed report is yet to be published, it has already been confirmed that red ink poses the greatest risk, but the EU is already planning to ban the green, blue, and black ink that falls into the same risk category.
“Many reports show concerns for public health stemming from the composition of inks used for tattooing. The most severe concerns are allergies caused by the substances in the inks and possible carcinogenic, mutagenic or reproductive toxic effects.”, said the agency.
Rick Stevens, the President of the Tattoo and Piercing Industry in the UK and Public Health England have agreed to work together to find a sustainable solution, identifying that the risk of importing cheap tattoo ink from China needs to be addressed, especially since these substances are not yet subjected to any safety checks.
A series of health issues have emerged since the increase in the popularity of getting inked, with more people than ever before fueling the unregulated industry. It is estimated that at least 1 in 3 adults has a tattoo and that more than 1 in 20 people who get inked suffer the consequences through itching, swelling, and severe discomfort.
Researchers at New York University’s Langone Medical Centre discovered that roughly six percent of tattooed adults experienced side effects from the ink, some lasting more than four months. Another second study from researchers at Bradford University concluded that toxic ink particles could enter vital organs through the bloodstream, increasing the risk of cancer significantly.