EU Commission checks ban – possible end for tattoo colors blue 15 and green 7

A rose, an anchor, an oath of love – tattoos are as varied as they are numerous. Little is known about the health risks when pictures are stung into the skin. Although one thing is absolutely clear: the colors don't just stay where they are stung, explains Doctor Peter Laux from the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment.

“I put tattoo agents, that is, a complex mixture of pigments and other substances into the skin, where the substances come into contact with the blood and also with the lymphatic fluid and they can be distributed in the body. That means they can potentially get on get to any place on the body.

So far there have been no fundamental studies in which it has been clarified whether possible negative effects arise there. “

The Cosmetics Ordinance is the godfather for tattooing

In Germany, the tattoo agent regulation regulates which agents may and may not be stuck into the skin. The basis for this is the European Cosmetics Regulation.

“That means that only substances that are not prohibited in cosmetic products are allowed in tattoo products.”

Blue 15 and green 7 do not meet the REACH regulation

So far, the colors blue 15 and green 7 are permitted, but this could change soon. The EU Commission is considering banning these two colors. Not because there have been any noticeable incidents with these colors, but because their documentation does not meet the requirements of REACH: REACH is an EU chemicals regulation that aims to protect consumers from dangerous chemicals. Peter Laux:

“It is the case that the studies available for these two pigments do not largely meet the requirements of the REACH regulation. Therefore, these studies still have to be prepared in accordance with the REACH regulation and the data gaps have to be closed.”

It's scientifically correct. Nevertheless, Doctor Steffen Schubert, research assistant at the information network of dermatological clinics, does not consider a ban on the two colors to be the right step.

“On the one hand, the two pigments: if they are banned, that doesn't help the tattooed people in any way, tattoo ink won't become safer as a result. These are UV-stable pigments of the old generation that …

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