For millions of Europeans, a tattoo can be a means of self-expression. It may also, however, represent a direct source of exposure to a complex cocktail of chemicals. It is estimated that the number of tattooed people in Europe more than doubled between 2003 and 2014, from about 30 to 60 million.
No EU-wide regulation currently exists to protect tattoo recipients from hazards found in tattoo inks. The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) support the proposal for an EU-wide restriction on tattoo inks, building on existing national legislation and based on the highest standards of protection of human health.
In this brief note, we provide feedback on the revised proposal, which will now be taken up for development into a legal proposal by the Commission before being discussed for final agreement with Member States. We also highlight some important systemic problems with the restriction process.