Coloured tattoos escape ban in France

Tattoo artists in France, who were up in arms about a government ban on certain dyes, say the health ministry has reassured them they will be able to keep using coloured ink, attributing the uproar to a misunderstanding of thousands of pages of regulations.

France's professional tattoo artists had been protesting for months after the health ministry banned 59 dyes used in , including tattoo inks, for safety reasons.

But the tattoo artists' association Tatouage & Partage said Wednesday it had received a letter from the health ministry calling the brouhaha a "misunderstanding".

"Colour tattooing is saved," said the association's president, Stephane Chaudesaigues.

The ban was "misinterpreted" by the offices in charge of implementing it, he said, expressing relief on behalf of France's 3,500 to 4,000 professional tattoo artists.

"It would have been a real loss of earnings. Today 90 percent of tattoos are in colour," he said.

The would not immediately comment.

The tattoo artists' association said the problem was one of the four tables printed in the government decree announcing the ban, which listed the dyes allowed in cosmetic products.

"They just misread the tables," said Cecile Chaudesaigues, the association's secretary.

"We decided to hire a specialist who went over the 3,600 pages of European regulations and their application in French law, and we realised there was no need to change anything."

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