Tattoo artist anger over new EU rules goes beyond skin deep
“So this is not something which is either a surprise or a complete novelty. It is a sort of generalization of practice which is already existing in quite a few member states,” said EU spokesman Eric Mamer. Seven EU nations already had national restrictions.
The Commission says alternatives to the banned products do exist but tattoo parlors say they’re too slow to make their way from the manufacturers to their shops.
Considering that at least 12 percent of Europeans have tattoos, and double that number in the 18-35 age group, according to EU figures, strict health guidelines were necessary.
The EU’s chemical agency ECHA says that allergic and inflammatory skin reactions “are expected to decrease thanks to the restriction.” It adds that “more serious effects such as cancer, harm to our DNA or the reproductive system potentially originating from chemicals used in the inks could also decrease.”
Michl Dirks, who is behind a “Save the Pigments” petition which has already collected 176,000 signatures in the EU objects to such conditional phrasing and insists the ban is not sufficiently backed by science, something which the EU disputes.
Erich Maehnert, co-organizer of the petition, said such bans unduly hurt the industry since people will use illegal ways to get the products from third countries.
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