They're calling for a ban on tattoo ink chemicals due to their toxic and potentially carcinogenic effects, according to a report in UK newspaper The Sun. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is yet to publish a detailed report outlining exactly which chemicals put inked-up individuals at risk, although it has warned that red inks are the most dangerous.
Blue, green and black inks are also linked in the report to serious allergic reactions - including itching that can last years after the ink is injected. The Sun reports that Rick Stevens, president of the UK's Tattoo and Piercing Industry Union, believes that the importation of cheap Chinese tattoo ink is largely to blame for the rise of tattoo-associated health problems that prompted the ECHA study. He notes that currently tattoo ink isn't subjected to the same degree of scrutiny - or regulations - as food or drugs.