Over 15,000 teeth whitening products, some containing extremely high levels of hydrogen peroxide bleach, have been seized by Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service.
Trading Standards Officers are working at the Coventry Parcelforce International Postal Hub alongside the UK Border Force, targeting imports of dangerous products.
Between May 2015 and February 2016, the service seized 15,398 teeth whitening products bound for UK shops, salons and individual’s homes with a total value of over £100,000.
Trading Standards Officers are targeting D.I.Y teeth whitening products they suspect of being imported and sold to consumers or used by unregistered traders offering teeth whitening services.
The maximum level of hydrogen peroxide permitted in teeth whitening products for use by the general public (including unregistered traders) is 0.1%.
However, some of the products seized contained more than 33% hydrogen peroxide.
Registered practitioners, for example dentists, are permitted to use products containing up to 6% hydrogen peroxide.
Dentists have warned that bleaching kits containing high levels of hydrogen peroxide can cause stomach problems, mouth infections, toothache, gum- shrinking and nerve damage.
Warwickshire County Councillor John Horner, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety said: “There is now a global marketplace for goods and services and we are increasingly finding that many small businesses import their stocks direct from suppliers outside Europe.
“Unfortunately, in many areas of the world, consumers do not get the same levels of protection UK shoppers expect and receive and products we consider dangerous are regularly manufactured and sold.”
Warwickshire County Councillor Philip Johnson, Chair of the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee added: “Warwickshire Trading Standards will continue to work with the UK Border Force and other agencies to stop dangerous products from reaching our shop shelves and protect the public.”