We could see restrictions on certain chemicals in our inks real soon

Last year the ECHA started an initiative to investigate the hazardous substances that go into tattoo ink and permanent make up.  It seems they’ve been making some headway and while they’ve extended the deadline for submissions to a survey they’ve put out, it seems they’ll be naming some restrictions and it’s possible this will have a knock on effect on some inks.

The Netherlands has notified its intentions to introduce some restrictions on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) contained in plastic and rubber granulates.  Now they specifically say ‘ used as infill material in synthetic turf pitches’ but if you recall one of our tattoo ink recall alerts in May the bulk of those recalls were initiated in the Netherlands and the majority of Risk Types for the tested inks was

‘The product contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)s, including naphthalene (measured values: naphthalene: (#)mg/kg; total of PAHs: (#) mg/kg). Some PAHs are carcinogenic. Naphthalene is a carcinogenic substance for which a safe level cannot be established. The Council of Europe Resolution ResAP (2008)1 on requirements and criteria for the safety of tattoos and permanent make-up, recommends that the total amount of PAHs do not exceed 0.5 mg/kg.’

I doubt this is a coincidence, it’s going to be interesting to see what the restrictions will be, how soon they will come into effect and what the response from tattoo ink manufacturers will be.  This could be the start of safer tattoo inks.