A man who pled guilty to 11 offences at Warrington Magistrates Court in relation to the sale of cosmetic tooth whitening products has received 300 hours community service.
Mr Stanton admitted to supplying ‘crest supreme professional white strips tooth whitener’ and ‘opalescence teeth whitening syringe pack’which were found to contain in excess of 100 times the amount of hydrogen peroxide permitted under the Cosmetic regulations.
Dangerous levels of hydrogen peroxide are known to cause chemical burn injuries to gums and cause irreversible damage to teeth enamel.
The Magistrates were provided with evidence from a dental expert showing that anything more than 0.1 per cent of peroxide used by an unqualified dental expert can damage gum tissue and increase the risk of cancer of the soft tissues in the mouth.
According to Meera Lachani a Solicitor in the Consumer Law and Product liability team at Leigh Day who specialises in beauty product claims, the law surrounding teeth whitening treatment is clear. She said: “Both the GDC and Trading Standards supply information to warn people of the risks of selling such treatment as well as having it administered illegally by someone who is not qualified to do so. It is unfortunate to see these warnings being ignored.”
The GDC make clear that under the terms of The Cosmetic Products (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 it is illegal for tooth whitening products which contain more than 6% hydrogen peroxide or for any associated products which release greater than 6% hydrogen peroxide to be supplied or administered for cosmetic purposes.
In addition, the regulations state that tooth whitening products containing or releasing between 0.1%-6% hydrogen peroxide should not be made directly available to the consumer, other than through treatment by a GDC registered dentist (or dental hygienist or dental therapist or clinical dental technicians working to a dentist’s prescription).
Ms Lachani continued:
“People can be caused significant harm from these illegal tooth whitening treatments. It is reassuring to see that Trading Standards and the GDC respectively are continuing to clamp down on such illegal practices.
“However, the ease by which the Trading standards officers were able to purchase the teeth whitening treatment from an eBay account under the pretense of an ordinary consumer is worrying.
“We can only hope that serious damage has not been caused to the consumers who have used the product and we would urge anyone who has bought any whitening product to check that it contains the correct levels of hydrogen peroxide.”