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Call for policy action on risks of tattoos

The Joint Research Centre has pushed for additional research on the health risks posed by tattoos, in a report informing the development of EU regulation.

According to the JRC, the European Commission’s in-house science service, there are significant gaps in knowledge on the safety of tattoos and permanent make-up products. More than 200 colourants and additives are used, but many contain impurities and are not authorised for use in cosmetics, the report said.

Concerns include links to skin irritation or cancer. Yet as it stands, there is no established structure for assessing the risks of tattoo inks, the JRC said. This means that chemicals banned in other products continue to be used in tattooing.

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