Documents in order
Prepare a safety document for tattooing services.
Identify the risks
You can use Tukes’ instructions and tools to identify risks. You should especially take the following into account in identifying the risks of tattooing services:
- the ingredients in tattoo inks and any hazardous substances they may contain
- the customer’s state of health and possible allergies
- safety and hygiene of the tattooing equipment during use
- safety of the working methods used
- the customer’s understanding of the permanence of the tattoo and its correct care
- the substances contained by the jewellery used in piercings and their potential risks
- the safe disposal of tattooing equipment.
Information provided for consumers
Before tattooing, provide the customer with all essential information concerning the safety of the tattooing service. Provide the information clearly and understandably. Make sure that the customer understands that the tattoo is permanent, how difficult and expensive removing a tattoo can be, what kind of care the tattoo needs, and what the potential long-term effects of tattoos are. After providing the information, make sure that the customer has understood the information they have received and is willing to be tattooed.
Provide the customer with the information on tattoo inks marked on the packaging and included in instructions for use. For example, the customer can use the list of ingredients to identify any substances they have been advised to avoid (e.g. due to allergies).
After tattooing, give the customer written instructions on the aftercare of the tattoo to take home with them. The written instructions also include instructions in case of possible allergic reactions, infections and other health hazards.
Tattoos are not recommended for anyone under the age of 18.
Tattoo and permanent make-up inks are intended to make a symbol or picture on a person’s body. The ink is injected or inserted into the person’s skin, mucous membrane or sclera using any applicable method. These methods include permanent pigmentation, cosmetic tattooing, microblading and micropigmentation.
The use of thousands of hazardous substances in tattoo and permanent make-up inks will be restricted in the EU from January 2022. Non-compliant tattoo and permanent make-up inks cannot be sold or used for tattooing purposes from 4 January 2022.
What substances contained by tattoo and permanent make-up inks does the restriction apply to?
The restriction applies to substances that:
- are carcinogenic
- are mutagenic
- are toxic to reproduction
- cause skin sensitisation
- cause skin corrosion or irritation, can cause serious eye damage or eye irritation
- are prohibited in cosmetic products
- are colourants permitted only in rinse-off cosmetic products
- are prohibited colourants in cosmetic products intended for mucous membranes
- are prohibited colourants in cosmetic products intended for eyes
- are permitted colourants in cosmetic products, but for which a maximum concentration or other restriction
- has been listed in entry 13 in Annex XVII to the REACH regulation.
Where can you check whether a tattoo ink contains restricted substances?
Companies can contact the ink manufacturer or importer to identify whether the ink contains any restricted substances. Information is also available in the ink’s safety data sheet and any list of ingredients included in the packaging.
Safety data sheets regarding hazardous inks can always be obtained from the ink supplier. You can also request a safety data sheet regarding non-hazardous inks, and it must be provided for you if the ink contains any harmful or hazardous ingredients. Section 3.2 of the safety data sheet includes information about ingredients and Section 15 about restrictions.