Trade Me has suspended the sale of tattoo ink kits after being alerted to potential safety hazards by the Environmental Risk Management Authority (Erma).

Trade Me trust and safety manager Chris Budge confirmed that all 280 listings of tattoo ink kits had been removed today after advice from Erma last night. All 12 members who listed the products had been notified personally and all had been obliging.

"They (Erma) had analysed some ink samples that had been sold on Trade Me and as least one ink per kit contained at least one metal prohibited in the cosmetic group standard," Mr Budge said.

The cosmetic group standard came into force in 2006 and was created for products intended for contact with external parts of the human body, such as skin, hair, nails, lips or teeth.

Because it was impossible to know which particular samples were a problem, all ink kits had been banned, Mr Budge said.

He estimated that about 1000 tattoo ink kits had been sold on Trade Me so far and anyone who was concerned should contact Erma or the Ministry of Health.

"It's definitely a public health issue and we don't want to take any chances."

- NZPA