Ban on ink is a major blow – tattoo artist

A LETTERKENNY tattoo artist says the new EU regulations banning most types of tattoo ink will have a significant affect on the industry. 
Magda Godlewska, manager at LK INK, was speaking to the Donegal News after the new regulations came into force last week banning thousands of chemical agents used by tattooists.  The European Chemicals Agency claim they can be hazardous, causing “skin allergies and other more serious health impacts, such as genetic mutations and cancer”.
However, it has caused uproar across the tattoo industry with fears that it will lead to businesses being forced to close.
“It’s like you are taking away flour from a bakery, how can you work?” questioned Magda.
She said because tattoos have existed for millions of years and have such a long history she cannot understand why these claims about cancer are now being made after all this time.
“I don’t understand how they have proved after this ink people have got cancer. Have they checked the medical history of the people before. There is a lot of question marks,” she said.
The EU say that there are safer alternatives available but many fear they will be very difficult to come by as the whole European market will be looking for them.
There is an exemption until this time next year for coloured pigmentation blue and green ink.
Magda said the loss of green ink in particular will be detrimental in Ireland as it is a very popular colour.
While black and grey tattoos are the most popular in Ireland there are many studios that rely on the use of colours in particular for art such as realistic portraits. Magda said for businesses that use a lot of colour “they will be done”.
This comes at an already difficult time for the industry having been closed for so long during the pandemic.
An association of tattooers in Europe are currently fighting to have the EU directive overturned and a legal assessment stating that there are many inconsistencies in the new regulations has been forwarded to MEPs and to the European Commission.
Magda said she hopes those in Europe will stop it as she fears this is only the beginning.
“When they start they will not stop,” she said.

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