TWPs hit 6%
 

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TWPs hit 6%

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TWPs hit 6%

 

TWPs hit 6%

Tooth whitening products (TWP) containing up to 6% hydrogen peroxide could be on sale as over-the-counter (OTC) products by the end of this year, following changes to the European Commission’s (EC) Cosmetic Directive.

The news has already provoked controversy nationwide, with dentists highlighting the dangers of cancer linked to super-strength tooth whiteners.

A report by EC’s science experts backs up dentists’ concerns, warning that chemicals can damage mouth tissue and may cause cancer. Under EC plans, the limit on concentration levels of bleach in OTC products will rise 60 times, from 0.1% to 6%.

EC officials have suggested a trial period of five years for the new regulations to keep track of any negative effects. But the only precaution will be labels stating that a dentist should be consulted.

The British Dental Association (BDA) has already voiced its concerns. Chair Dr Susie Sanderson said: ‘We are concerned the EC is pushing for a solution that is much stronger than what dentists consider is safe to use without professional supervision.

‘It would be better if tooth whitening agents came under the Medical Directive, rather than cosmetics as proposed, because it is easier to amend the situation if consumers report back adverse affects that give rise to concern.

‘TWPs need to be monitored – the BDA believes that, under the proposed regulations, patients should seek advice and counselling from their dentist before using these products. It’s very important that patients understand the need for well-fitting custom-made bleaching trays.’

Spyros Pappas, a former director general of EC consumer services, said: ‘The scientific community has never said ‘go ahead’ with the products above 0.1%.

‘I am concerned big companies are exerting great pressure on the commission.’

Last week a spokesman for the EC’s industry section said a final decision would not be taken until September. The EC is calling for dentists to report any incidences involving adverse reactions from using TWPs. The Council of European Dentists (CED) is now working with the EC to make the period of review fast and efficient.

Dr Sanderson explained: ‘The Council of European Dentists has agreed to work with the EC to design a questionnaire to make it as easy as possible for both dentists and consumers to provide the evidence.’

The CED, chaired by Stuart Johnston, is to work on resolving concerns concerning the use of TWPs with concentrations of hydrogen peroxide over 6%. This will include investigating how their use should be regulated and classified, as well as who should be permitted to use them.

 Posted on : Mon 14th - Aug - 2006

 

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