Almost 60% of teeth whiteners available online exceed the legal level of hydrogen peroxide, an investigation into teeth whitening products reveals.
A study carried out by Which? un veiled alarming levels of active whitening ingredients in a range of pens, strips and gel-filled syringes.
Legally, over-the-counter whitening products should only contain 0.1% hydrogen peroxide, with this increasing to 6% when applied by dentists.
Data showed that 21 of the 36 teeth whitening products available online that were tested exceeded the legal amount of hydrogen peroxide for home use.
Law breaking levels in teeth whitening
The worst culprit was teeth whitening syringes that contained more than 300 times the legal limit of hydrogen peroxide.
Five out of nine products tested that were bought on Ebay broke the law, with one containing 7.43%.
In addition, a similar pattern was found on Amazon Marketplace. Five out of 13 of the whitening products had illegal levels of the chemical.
Which? also found that even products not officially sold in the UK were able to be imported through international sellers. In one case, the whitening strips investigated contained 132 times the legal amount of hydrogen peroxide.
Self-regulation not working
Sue Davies, head of consumer protection policy at Which? said: ‘It’s worrying that our tests have revealed so many of these products sold on online marketplaces – and often hyped on social media – are breaking legal limits for hydrogen peroxide and putting the health of users at risk.
‘It’s clear that self-regulation is not working, leaving people exposed to a flood of unsafe products online.
‘It is absolutely crucial that online marketplaces are given greater legal responsibility for the safety of products sold on their sites.
‘This is so that shoppers are far better protected from dangerous and illegal items.’
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