Tuesday, 2 October 2018

European dermatologists demand a stricter regulation for tattoos

Original Article Published in Spanish in 


Translated automatically by Google 
Tattoos have gained great popularity in Western countries. In Australia, Finland, France and Germany, approximately 10% of the population has at least one. The 'tattoo madness' is especially intense among younger generations, in which around a third or a quarter of them have a tattoo.
"Although systemic infections, such as hepatitis or HIV, are minimal, the rest of the problems are underdiagnosed since there is no record of these incidents. The data on the number of adverse effects vary depending on the population analyzed. For example, a Danish study, done in tattooed people who were in a beach area, shows that two out of three people tattooed report some related side effect after being exposed to the sun. There is a lack of reliable epidemiological studies and the data must be taken with caution, "explains Dr. Christa De Cuyper, member of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) and an expert in this field.
Although health and safety regulations have been established by the Council of Europe and are aimed at the prevention of infections (eg, avoid sharing needles to prevent hepatitis B and HIV), tattoos are not without risk.
Quality of the inks
The lack of control over the quality and sterility of the inks are still a cause for concern.
A Danish study on bacterial contamination in 58 new inks showed that 10% of these were contaminated by bacteria of the species Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Pseudomonas and Enterococcus and E. Coli. These contaminated inks can generate an infection, especially in people at risk, such as those with heart disease, diabetes and patients with a weakened immune system.
Allergies and toxicity are other aspects of concern. The inks contain pigments, additives and even nanoparticles of traces of heavy metals, as well as dangerous impurities derived from the production process. Tattoos dyes can release carcinogenic aromatic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. In many cases, the ingredients and chemical components are not clearly labeled.

Some pigments used in tattoo inks do not appear on the list of the Scientific Committee for Consumer Products, a regulatory body of the European Commission, and are substances that are not allowed in cosmetics. To this is added that illegal and counterfeit products of poor quality can easily be purchased online.
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