SEOUL, Nov. 22 (Korea Bizwire) — Experts say that more than 13 million South Koreans have now gotten a tattoo as they are becoming more conventional and demand for permanent makeup is on the increase in South Korea.
The Standard, a South Korean company that produces dyes for tattoos, said that more than 3 million people have conventional tattoos on their bodies, while more than 10 million people have had permanent makeup tattooed on their eyebrows or lips.
This means that 1 out of 4 South Koreans has experienced getting a tattoo.
“Under the assumption that a consumer gets permanent makeup tattooed once every 10 years, more than 1 million people are getting permanent makeup each year,” said The Standard.
Dyes used for tattoos come in bottles of 10 to 15 milliliters, 100,000 of which are being used annually.
As tattoos spread throughout the country, the Ministry of Environment designated tattoo dyes as a ‘product of possible hazard’ in 2015, implementing safety standards to limit the amount of arsenic and 17 other harmful contents as well as restricting the use of chloroforms and 64 other hazardous compounds.
Current practices allow dye manufacturers to self-test the products before sales, causing massive quantities of unqualified products to be found in the market.
The Korea Consumer Agency collected 25 dyes used for permanent makeup that are being sold in the market in 2016 to conduct a study that revealed 12 of them (48 percent) contained heavy metal substances that exceeded the safety standards.
Cadmium and arsenic were found to exceed by three to five times the safety standards from two of the products. International Agency for Research on Cancer classified cadmium and arsenic as Group I carcinogens.
Given that tattoo dyes are actually inserted into the skin, the South Korean government has ordered the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety to implement safety standards on manufacturing, importing, and selling tattoo dyes.
M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)