(kmaxenews) - Ink used to tattoo millions of people in Britain could be banned after being deemed potentially toxic, according to new research.
And some colours are more dangerous than others, according to the ECHA
The European Chemicals agency (ECHA)
which regulates chemicals across Europe, has said it can cause skin problems including allergic reactions, extreme itching and even an increased risk of cancer. The ECHA will publish a new list detailing potentially dangerous chemicals in tattoo ink. The agency has listed red tattoo inks as the most dangerous, but green, black and blue were also considered risky. They said,
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"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."
When a chemical is mutagenic, it can change a cell's DNA, leading to mutations that can lead to cancer.
Public health England said it would welcome the European restrictions dossier and said it would implement the findings here.
Tattoo popularity is at an all-time high, but a study has shown that more than one in 20 people getting 'inked' suffer tattoo-related complications with high rates of infection, itching and swelling. Researchers at New York University's Langone Medical Centre found as many as six per cent of adults getting a tattoo experienced some form of related rash, severe itching or swelling that lasted longer than four months and, in some cases, for many years.
There has been another drawback for ink-lovers as a study by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre has found that Britain's regulation of both tattoists and tattoo inks is the laxest in Europe. UK tattooists are not required to wear gloves, despite clients often bleeding during the process, and are legally allowed to use needles more than once which creates a risk of cross-infection.
The NHS guidance states that people should make sure the tattoo studio they are using has a licence, is clean, well-maintained and that all gloves and instruments used are sterile.