The tattoo art form has existed for centuries and as many in the tattoo profession have experienced, the tattoo industry has been primarily self-regulated for over the last 50 years. However, the regulatory landscape has changed in Europe and increasingly in the United States. Today the tattoo industry is highly regulated in Europe by a myriad of EU and country specific agencies. In the Unites States federal agencies such as the FDA are beginning to review and codify restrictions on ingredients used in tattoo pigments and other tattoo related products.

In both Europe and the United States tattoo industry leaders are working with these agencies to enact common sense regulations for the health and safety of both the artist and the consumer. This is the result of five decades of self-regulation and years of in-house and private laboratory testing of raw materials, chemical analysis, manufacturing best practices, and constant real-time artist and consumer feedback. This knowledge backed up by solid scientific data gives tattoo artists and especially tattoo product manufacturers a valuable “real-world” insight that regulatory agencies from most countries simply do not have. This is uncharted territory for most health and chemical agencies as it relates specifically to tattooing. Therefore, the more they work with the tattoo industry the more compliant and smooth the outside regulatory transition will be for all involved, especially for tattoo artists and the tattoo product industry.

To accomplish this goal and to continue to provide tattoo clients with a top-notch tattoo experience, we are asking the tattoo industry to unite to form an effective, information-based organization called the Coalition for Tattoo Safety (CTS). The CTS will allow participants to have a voice in the formation of tattoo industry regulations and in doing so will offer regulators decades of tattoo industry experience and know how.

To effectively work hand-in-hand with tattoo industry regulators, the CTS is requesting the full support of the tattoo industry and will be inviting tattoo artists, tattoo pigment makers, tattoo ink manufacturers, tattoo machine builders, tattoo needle and tube producers, tattoo aftercare companies, tattoo retailers and wholesalers, tattoo shop owners, and tattoo enthusiast large and small, to join the coalition.

“The tattoo industry needs a voice for sharing knowledge and experience on a global platform. This is the value of creating a coalition for tattoo ink safety. It is where we explain our industry to the world.” – CTS Board Member Terry Walker

The CTS’ first annual event will be held in Las Vegas on October 31, 2018, at Planet Hollywood.

Two-day tattoo industry-only portion of the event will accompany a CTS grand kick-off event, where top tattoo artists, pre-registered participating tattoo artists, tattoo product manufacturers, tattoo product retailers, and tattoo product wholesalers will introduce new tattoo products and tattoo technologies and hold professional artist development workshops and tattoo education and tattoo safety seminars. Furthermore, following the two-day tattoo industry only program, the CTS Las Vegas event will then open up to the public. At such time, over 300 tattoo artist booths will be available for clients to be tattooed by some of the world’s most renowned artists.

“We welcome the continued advancement of our industry and common sense regulation. However, as an industry we must unify and become an informed advocate for the continued existence of our profession and art. We either take it upon ourselves to do it – or we run the risk of being side-lined and silenced by unqualified outside groups and associations.” CTS President, Mario Barth.

Take a look at this gallery of works by some of the amazing Tattoo artists that will be attending CTS’ show!