Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Swiss Miss

July 27th, 2009 by

To be honest, I have never given much thought to what goes into the actual products that are used for tattooing.  And I’m pretty sure that I’m not alone in that, as in, no one thinks about that.  Unless you work for a government laboratory, there’s no way you’ve ever considered the microbiological purity or the chemical composition or the general safety of the ink used for tattoos.

Well, given the Swiss inclination toward being neat and tidy (seriously, have you ever been to Switzerland? You could eat off the streets, it’s so clean), it’s not really that surprising that Switzerland is the first country that I have ever heard of pulling tattoo products for their lack of safety.

A recent study done by Swiss government laboratories on 152 different tattoo products has found 40% of the products to be in violation of Swiss public safety standards, and subsequently banned from use.

“…the lab tests also showed that 62 of the products contained banned substances, mostly either colouring or conservation agents, although 10 were found to contain cancerogenic scents or nitrosamines. Bern notes that there is a risk the products will cause cancer in the longer term or may provoke allergies.”

Switzerland issued safety standards for tattoo related products in January of 2008.

This is all very interesting and I am now tempted to wonder if anyone is testing tattoo products for their safety levels over in North America.  Surely they must be, but are they as strict as the Swiss?  Or do the Swiss just get crappy tattoo products?  Somehow I really doubt that.  Or…is this a method to indirectly control the number of tattooed citizens in a country that has always loved things to be neat and orderly?

Naw, I don’t think it’s any of those things.  In a time where tattoos are just as common and popular as buying a new T-shirt, beneath all the hullaballoo and hype, the Swiss are quietly progressing with the times and ensuring that health and safety aren’t ignored in the things that average Joes like you and I never even think about.

Bless ’em for it.

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