Green and Blue Tattoo Inks at the End of the Road: EU Sends Draft Regulation to the WTO

The EU Commission will further restrict additional tattoo inks and has informed the WTO about its planned Draft Regulation to Amend Annex XVII of REACH. The Regulation will be published in the EU’s Official Journal in the second half of the year.

The draft is controversial because it means an end to the exceptions granted to pigments Blue 15 (CI 74160) and Green 7 (CI 74260). The EU is granting manufacturers only a transition period of two years to develop substitute products. The Commission based its decision on the opinion of the ECHA’s Risk Assessment (RAC) and Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC) committees. Both committees admit that no study yet exists that shows a heighted risk of cancer. Nonetheless, the experts want to act proactively and note that the Cosmetics Regulation has prohibited both substances as hair dyes since 2009.

The prohibition puts the squeeze on tattoo studios because there are no adequate substitutes for either of the key colors. They are found in two-thirds of all tattoo inks used around the world.

For more on this topic, see our blog entry: ECHA Wants to Restrict the Use of Tattoo Inks.

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