ACCC takes action on unsafe teeth-whiteners

9 December 2011

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has acted to stop the supply of do-it-yourself (DIY) teeth-whiteners containing unsafe concentrations of peroxide. 

"The ACCC is concerned that high concentrations of peroxides used in these products has resulted in injuries such as chemical burns to gums and the mouth," ACCC commissioner Sarah Court said.

"The ACCC has identified a number of products which exceed safe peroxide limits, and has negotiated recalls to remove these products from the marketplace."

To date, the ACCC has negotiated recalls of nine home use teeth-whitening products available nationally.

Three products supplied by White My Bite have been recalled including:

  • "White My Bite" Sensitive
  • "White My Bite" Professional, and
  • "White My Bite" Advanced kits

Four products supplied by WhiteSmile Pty Ltd have been recalled including:

  • DayWhite Teeth Whitening Gel
  • NiteWhite Teeth Whitening Gel
  • Sunshine Health Teeth Whitening Gel, and
  • Crest Teeth Whitening Strips

Two products supplied by DaVinci Elite Pty Ltd have been recalled including:

  • DaVinci Elite tooth whitening pen
  • DaVinci Elite take-home teeth whitening kit.

Further recalls are likely.

The ACCC recently notified all known suppliers of DIY teeth whitening kits that products containing concentrations of more than 6 per cent hydrogen peroxide or more than 18 per cent carbamide peroxide are unsafe and should not be supplied to consumers.

The ACCC undertook a market survey of DIY teeth-whitening kits after receiving reports of injuries associated with these products.

"In addition to chemical burns to gums and the mouth, other reported injuries have included blistering or ulceration of the mouth and throat, tooth sensitivity, marbled or unnaturally coloured teeth, tissue tingling and headaches," Ms Court said.

"Consumers should be extremely cautious before undertaking any DIY teeth whitening treatment and should not use kits that contain more than 6 per cent hydrogen peroxide and/or more than 18 per cent carbamide peroxide."

"If the concentration of the bleaching agents is not clearly labelled, consumers are advised not to use the product."

Safe limits for these active bleaching agents are based on the requirements of the Poisons Standard 2011, expert clinical advice published by the Australian Dental Association and a scientific risk assessment published by the European Union's Scientific Committee on Consumer Products.

For more information on product safety generally, visit www.productsafety.gov.au, call the ACCC Infocentre on 1300 302 502 or follow us on Twitter @ProductSafetyAU.

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Release number: 
NR 237/11
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