APAN presented on the 24-26th August 2021 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands (online conference).

As many of you may be aware the issue of safety with regards to tattoo inks and pigments used in tattooing and PMU is currently under investigation as at this present time inks and pigments used for these procedures are unregulated.  While certain hazardous substances such as mercury and lead have been removed, the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (ICNAS) has identified evidence of further hazardous substances and carcinogens that are still found in these products. 

As APAN, at the invitation of Qld Health Environmental Hazardous Unit, is part of the working group investigating these issues, they have been invited to speak at the 5th World Congress of Tattoo and Pigment Research on the 24-26 August 2021, which is held this year in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. A lecture on the UPDATE ON AUSTRALIAN TATTOO INK REGULATIONS will be presented by Tina Viney.

APAN is working closely with the European Society of Tattoo and Pigment Research (ECTP) a unique body that has conducted comprehensive research into pigment safety. Through the extensive work of this organization, Europe is leading the world in standards and regulations.  Since 2003 Europe has had guidelines in place for ingredients and purity standards, with some EU member countries adopting them into regulation.  In December 2020, the EU adopted detailed uniform regulations across all member countries after extensive research and consultation with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) with compliance required by January 2022.

The congress will feature 61 sessions from speakers of various nations. Many of the topics will relate to safety considerations and regulatory compliance. The event will be attended by industry bodies, manufacturers from various countries, dermatologists, scientists, regulators, and education experts who will discuss pertinent topics that relate to both inks and pigments safety and regulations, as well as techniques and trends. 

With regards to the Australian position, a full report will be presented in the upcoming issue of APJ Journal, which should be distributed in approximately two weeks.

We strongly support the need for a regulation that will introduce the need for a Compliant Analysis Certificate to be required by PMU practitioners verifying that all identified hazardous pigments are not features in any pigments or inks used. Our position is that Australia should establish similar regulations in line with the EU regulations and guidelines. We understand that the FDA in the US is also currently reviewing its regulations.  We are optimistic that as other countries implement the EU standards this will allow full compliance and improve trade relations between those countries.

On Thursday 26th August APAN is scheduled to a meeting with the Qld Health Minister’s office on how we can move forward. A report on this meeting will be forthcoming.  We have a duty of care to pursue this regulation as our industry practitioners and their clients that are impacted include not only PMU artists, but also laser tattoo removal practitioners who are subjected to health risks if known carcinogens that are identified are not prohibited through regulation.