Tattoo studios controlled – canton chemist finds color that is not allowed to tattoo

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Over 1200 inspections at various companies were carried out in the canton of Lucerne in 2020. For the first time, tattoo studios were also scrutinized.

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In 2020, tattoo studios in the canton of Lucerne were checked for the first time by the food control and consumer protection department. (Symbol image)

20min/Simon Glauser

Around 30 tattoo studios were checked.  In six cases (20 percent), studios could not prove that the colors used meet legal requirements.

Around 30 tattoo studios were checked. In six cases (20 percent), studios could not prove that the colors used meet legal requirements.

DILV

In addition, four studios used inks that were not suitable for tattooing or contained prohibited preservatives.

In addition, four studios used inks that were not suitable for tattooing or contained prohibited preservatives.

DILV

  • The Food Control and Consumer Protection Service carried out 1200 inspections in 2020. 7000 samples were analyzed.

  • For the first time, tattoo studios were also checked.

  • Several studios could not prove that the tattoo ink used meets the requirements.

  • In four studios, colors were used that are not allowed to be used for tattooing.

The Food Control and Consumer Protection Service (DILV) of the Canton of Lucerne carried out inspections at tattoo and permanent make-up studios for the first time last year. Around 30 studios were checked. “These have shown that the hygiene measures required to avoid infectious diseases are generally well implemented in the studios,” says canton chemist Silvio Arpagaus.

But: “There is a need for action in the area of ​​the tattoo and permanent make-up colors used,” continues Arpagaus. According to the canton chemist, this is also shown by controls in other cantons. For example, tattoo inks may not contain certain substances at all or “only contain them below a certain limit.” In six cases (20 percent), studios could not prove that the colors used meet these requirements.

“Not all suppliers are trustworthy”

“In several cases we found colors that are not suitable for tattooing,” said the canton chemist. These colors are suitable for drawing sketches or pictures on the skin, “but they are not suitable for being applied to the skin. In order to be able to bring a color into the skin, very high requirements apply. ” This is about health protection, because certain substances in paints can trigger allergies or are suspected of being carcinogenic. “Serious health consequences cannot be ruled out with these colors.”

Tattoo studios have a duty to self-control. In this way, they can obtain evidence from their suppliers that the colors conform to the law. This is important because you can order colors online. “Not all suppliers are trustworthy,” says Arpagaus. Customers can also request such proof from a tattoo studio.

After the controls, companies must take corrective measures to ensure that everything is in order again. You must also inform DILV of this. “Companies that do their job well have fewer controls than those that have problems.”

“The Food Control and Consumer Protection Service (DILV) examined around 7,000 samples from the areas of food and drinking water in 2020,” she said. In most cases the controls are unannounced. Around 90 percent of the samples complied with the law. 10.6 percent had complaints (2019: 11.4 percent).

During the controls, the hygienic protective measures, the quality of food and the correct labeling are checked. Where deficiencies are found, companies have to remedy them. “The controls serve consumer protection and are a basis for Lucerne food producers to be allowed to export their goods abroad.”

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