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Tattoo inks

Tattoos are a popular form of body art – 12 % of Europeans have them. They are made by injecting coloured inks under the skin to leave a permanent design. The health risks of using dirty needles to inject the inks have already been under scrutiny for some time, but there may be chemical-related concerns to consider, too.

© European Chemicals Agency

Tattoo inks, as well as permanent make-up such as eyeliner inks, are a mix of several chemicals. As these chemicals may stay in the body for life, there is also the possibility for long-term exposure to the potentially harmful ingredients in tattoos and permanent make-up products. These chemicals may cause adverse health effects, but little is known about the consequences of their use.

The EU is currently deciding whether we need to set EU-wide restrictions on substances used in tattoo inks. Find out more through the links below. 

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