“Dangerous” teeth whitening products available online

  • Date: 26 May 2021

TESTS of teeth whiteners bought from a selection of online retailers found that some contained illegal and dangerous levels of hydrogen peroxide, according to research conducted by Which magazine.

Consumer researchers bought 36 teeth whiteners from online marketplaces, including AliExpress, Amazon, eBay and Wish. Tests revealed that 21 of the 36 teeth whiteners contained more than the legal limit of 0.1 per cent hydrogen peroxide. Just under a third contained more than 6 per cent hydrogen peroxide, which is the limit dentists are allowed to use in treatment.

Six of the products had more than 100 times the legal limit of hydrogen peroxide – with two containing around 30 per cent hydrogen peroxide or 300 times the permissible amount for use-at-home products.

Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation told Which: "This is worrying as solutions of hydrogen peroxide used are often above the 0.1 per cent legal limit and this can lead to permanent damage to teeth and gums. That’s why we only recommend visiting a qualified dentist for tooth whitening as they’re professionally trained and will help you to get the results you looking for safely.

A spokesperson for the Office for Product Safety and Standards commented to the BBC: "By law, cosmetics may be placed on the UK market only if they are safe. There are specific restrictions in place for products of this kind and we would urge anyone who is considering using teeth-whitening products to consult their dentist first.

"We continue to work with local Trading Standards and online platforms to identify unsafe products and ensure these are removed from sale - we expect the platforms to act swiftly when notified to keep people safe."

This page was correct at the time of publication. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

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