TWP legislation under attack
 

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TWP legislation under attack

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TWP legislation under attack

 

TWP legislation under attack

The European Commission’s plans to approve new home tooth-whitening treatments could have disastrous health consequences for people that use them, according to a leading European dentist.

As reported in Dentistry magazine in August, the levels of hydrogen peroxide in tooth whitening products (TWP) could be increased from 0.1% to 6% and be on sale as over-the-counter products.

The news has already provoked controversy nationwide, and Dr Ed Schilperoord, a Dutch dentist based in Rotterdam, claims such super-strength tooth whiteners have not been fully tested.
‘The long-term effects of the products have never been tested properly before,’ he told Dentistry magazine. ‘Policy makers in Brussels look set to allow big multi-national companies to use unwitting members of the public as human guinea pigs.

‘These teeth whiteners may cause severe tooth decay, could have toxic effects, be carcinogenic and may even damage human DNA in the oral cavity. These could be on the shelves of UK shops within weeks. Anyone that buys them will be taking part in a test, the results of which will not be known for years.’

EC officials have suggested a five-year trial period for the new regulations, with the extra hydrogen peroxide-based products being directly available to European consumers without the supervision of a dentist.

According to Schilperoord, the EC’s own experts are worried since there have been no conclusive tests on the long-term effects of peroxide-based treatments, and have advised the Commission many times they should not be made available for general sale.

In 1999, 2003 and 2005, one of the EC’s major advisory bodies, the Scientific Committee on Cosmetics and Non-Food Products, insisted that whitening products with more then 0.1% peroxide should only be used under the supervision or with the express permission of a dentist.

But Schilperoord claims the Commission will ignore this advice in a policy change expected to come into force this month. ‘The Commission has been under heavy pressure from big multi-national companies keen to change the existing laws,’ Schilperoord added. ‘Many want to sell peroxide-based treatments across Europe without the supervision of a dentist because they have been unable to develop a peroxide-free alternative.’

The reaction of users across Europe will decide whether or not this high level of hydrogen peroxide will still be allowed in TWPs beyond the five-year trial.

Schilperoord concluded: ‘Organisations including the Academic Centre of Dentists in Amsterdam, the Loma Linda University in the US and the University of Maastricht have all carried out studies that show hydrogen peroxide is potentially dangerous when used in teeth-whitening products. Thereby the supervision of a dentist is highly necessary.

‘This proposal could endanger public health. That is why the UK government, like the Dutch government, should raise its voice in opposition and ensure that this proposal never becomes law.’

 Posted on : Thu 7th - Sep - 2006

 

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