Inks used in British tattoos may be toxic and facing a ban.
It has come to light that due to the lack of restriction and checking of tattoo inks, the market has become flooded with cheap and potentially harmful variations.
According to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the issues these inks can cause include allergic reactions, itching that can last for years, and elevated cancer risk. The chemicals are not intended to be put into the skin for extensive years and red tattoo inks cause the most health issues, with black, green and blue also causing concern.
Roughly 20% of the British public have tattoos and their popularity is only increasing. Tattoo inspiration provided by celebrities and sites like Instagram and Pinterest have only fuelled peoples desire to ink themselves, but unfortunately tattoos don’t have that many restrictions set in place. Obviously there is the age restriction but the inks used in tattoos are not subject to the same regulations as drugs or food. Therefore, it is easy to get away with using cheaper and more toxic inks. A study found that pigments used in tattoo inks had been created for other uses, such as car paint, and were not intended to be in the skin for years. The market has become awash with Chinese inks that are harmful for the skin and tattoo artists agree that more strict regulations have to be set in place.
If you’re considering getting your first tattoo, check out our guide to what to keep in mind:
• Do you really want it? – Make sure it isn’t something you’ll look back on and regret
• Is a matching tattoo a good idea? – Are you 100% certain that whoever you’re going to get one with is going to be there for life?
• Think about your design for a while before you get it done – you don’t want to get it and then realise how it could have been better
• Think about your pain threshold – if you cannot handle a lot of pain you don’t want to get one on your ribs. Find out what places on the body are less painful and see if you’d consider getting one there
• Shop around – don’t just go to the first tattoo artist you find or are recommended, shop around, read reviews and have a look at their work.
• Have a consultation – if you want to create a totally unique design then you can go in for consultations with your artist. This will help you find what you want exactly and allow you to get advice from an expert
• Learn about the aftercare and keep it up! – This goes without saying but if you don’t look after it right it wont look good
• Eat before you go – we know from experience that you need to have lined your stomach before you go, having needles fired into your body for potentially hours is a shock to the system. You want to avoid any fainting episodes
We hope this has informed you about the risks and helped you decided whether or not to get a new inking!
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