Tattoo inks are made up of a complex mix of chemicals that stay in the body for life, and several of these chemicals are known to cause cancer and other negative health effects. In light of this, EU member states recently voted in favour of an EU-wide legislation that would restrict the use of hazardous chemicals in tattoo inks and permanent make-up. The restriction would impose concentration limits for dozens of harmful chemicals.
With miniscule letters it read on the box: “Not intended for the immediate eye area”. My friend and I looked at each other and wondered if we had understood it correctly. Where else if not the immediate eye area is eyeshadow meant to be used? What’s next, a lipstick that isn’t intended for the immediate mouth area? This is of course a symptom of a much bigger problem than just one company trying to safeguard itself against angry and dissatisfied customers with rashes around their eyes.
Four years ago, the EU Commission granted the Canada-based paint manufacturer Dominion Colour Corporation (DCC) authorisation to use toxic lead chromates in red and yellow paint pigments. According to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the company will not reapply for permission to continue selling these pigments in Europe beyond May 2022, when its current authorisation expires.
The warm and pleasant sun rays can cause us harm if we are not careful. The go-to advice to avoid this has long been to wear sunscreen. Sunscreen does indeed protect us from harmful UV radiation but many of the chemicals that are frequently used in sunscreens are, unfortunately, harmful themselves – either to our own health or to the environment. So, how do we best protect ourselves against the sun’s UV radiation while, at the same time, considering the chemical ingredients present in sunscreens?