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What's going on in the tattoo world?de Anthony Roberfroid sur RTBF English version


Dear followers,

finally an interesting article (translated with Google just for the foreigners who visit our site) , where the journalist Anthony Roberfroid begins to do a real research. The Belgian national press marks a point of honor by starting to ask what is happening to the right people. We are always waiting for the Minister of Health who decide on the issue which remains extremely serious.

The tattoo figures in our beloved little nation are sky high and more and more people are asking us questions which are for Minister Frank Vandenbroucke. We are waiting for him to tell us what to do because from 4 January we risk closing the doors, because the ban on 4,000 substances is enormous, no joking. Don't believe those who say that nothing changes, of course it does, look in the sites of Tattoo's Supplies and how many colors start to disappear ...

I can personally add that we ask publicly 1 -

a precise list of prohibited substances starting from January 4, 2022,

2 -

where these substances are present, we ask the name of the brands of the products.

The economic damage of this untimely choice is added to the weight of lockdown and pandemic.

For our work according to the law of 2005 is the minister of health and no one else the right gouvernement person who can help us. We hope for understanding of him and solicit his presence in an urgent way. We are in 2021 and we have a 2005 law, we are on the verge of closure and illegal tattoo artists are 4 or 5 times more than us. We thank all the institutions that will help me get out of this Kafkaesque labyrinth.

Thanks to all the chairmans of Council of European Tattoo Associations and 🙏🙏🙏

Bruno Menei

Chairman ATB


Whether they are the result of a fad or a profound change in our society, tattoos are becoming more and more important among Belgians. In 2017, the Federal Public Health Service estimated that around 500,000 of them get tattoos each year. Still, the tattoo world could literally lose color in the next few years. European regulations notably provide for the prohibition of several substances composing tattoo inks in the years to come. From January 2022, several pigments currently used in yellow, orange and red inks will be banned. ►►► Read also: EU sets common rules for less harmful tattoo inks But for Davy D'Hollander, managing director of TekTik, the main supplier of tattoo materials and inks in Belgium, this ban could quickly be overcome: "Alternatives should quickly arrive on the market because there are other pigments that will give the same colors and which are not on the list of prohibited substances. But we fear that these new substances will also be prohibited in the future ". We are afraid that we will not find alternatives However, the banning of these pigments is not what the supplier apprehends the most: "Our main concern is that we will not be able to find alternatives for other colors which will also be prohibited." Blue and green could disappear from tattoos These other colors are blue and green. Among the 21 dyes that the European Commission wants to ban, phthalocyanine blue (Pigment Blue 15: 3) and phthalocyanine green (Pigment Green 7) are among the targets to be cut. As of January 2023, these pigments will be officially banned from the Union. The reason ? Their probable dangerousness as specified by the Commission in its regulation: "The Risk Assessment Committee (CER) of the European Chemicals Agency considered that it was not possible to exclude the risk of cancer and 'possible risks unrelated to carcinogenicity for the majority of these dyes, mainly due to the lack of adequate information on their dangerous properties and on the risk to human health. " ►►► To read also: Half of the tattoo parlors checked in 2019 were in violation However, the Commission emphasizes, as Davy D'Hollander explained, that among all the dyes affected by this ban, "only the two phthalocyanine-based dyes, Pigment Blue 15: 3 and Pigment Green 7, are essential for tattooing because there are no safer and technically adequate alternatives. " By Europe's own admission, these pigments are difficult to replace, which the boss of Tektik confirms: "There is certainly research but for the moment, there is no conclusive result. Or, this are products which are more dangerous than those which already exist ". The Commission therefore ruled on a transitional period. A 36-month limited exemption to allow manufacturers to reformulate their blend and find an alternative. But other options are unlikely to be found before the end of this period, which ends in January 2023. A real danger to health? Could these inks pose a risk of cancer development as Europe suggests? Unlikely, according to Alfred Bernard, toxicologist at UCLouvain, even if he confirms that certain substances present in inks are carcinogenic. "There are contaminants that are carcinogenic to humans, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons which can cause skin cancer or aromatic amines which can cause bladder cancer. But there are no studies on this. tattoos These studies mainly focused on hair dyes and the most recent have shown that women who used these products did not particularly develop cancer, "says the professor. ►►► To read also: Tattoo inks and cancer risk: beware of counterfeits However, these hair dyes done regularly cannot be compared to tattoos. "In the context of tattoos, exposure is not regular so the risks are much lower. It is above all an overprotection on the part of Europe in relation to these substances which, it is true, are carcinogens. The toxicologist therefore wishes to put into perspective: "These substances do not represent a great danger for tattoos. There is no need to be alarmed because there is no significant risk. No data shows that they have caused cancer ". Banning tattoo inks when smoking is allowed is a shame! A finding that also emits the general manager of TekTik who considers that Europe authorizes other more dangerous substances: "To ban tattoo inks while one authorizes for example the cigarettes, it is a shame! tobacco impact is much more important on health. Especially since until now, no study has revealed cancer due to inks in tattooed people. This is not a new practice and we have taken a step back since many years." Rush in tattoo parlors On the side of Tatouage Belgique, the Belgian national association for tattoo artists and piercers, we regret this new regulation which will more than likely imply a lack of won and a brake on the art of tattooing: "We will no longer be able to express ourselves as before and clients will not be able to carry out the projects they want, deplores Gwenaelle Réaume, secretary of the ASBL. Some clients will no longer want to be tattooed, which will represent a shortfall for tattoo artists. " ►►► To read also: Tattooing, a phenomenon that affects all generations The non-profit organization has also noted a strong demand for colored tattoos since the announcement of this new regulation: "There is a rush in salons because people come to be tattooed in colors before they are forbidden and there are no more alternatives.As for blue and green, we will no longer be able to mix them with other colors which, inevitably, will disappear. " Suppliers and tattooists alike also fear that the ban on these colors will create a black market or illegal tattoo parlors that are not supervised and do not meet health standards.

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