It is the secret behind the dazzling smiles of many pop stars and Hollywood actors. And thousands of people have followed the example of the likes of Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts and Britney Spears, who are among those said to have had their teeth whitened. But now dentists are being warned that the procedure has been declared illegal by the EU. They could face up to six months’ jail or a £5,000 fine for offering the sessions.
(Daily Mail, 24 February 2003, page 33)
Legislation concerning the use of hydrogen peroxide in dental products has been in place since 1993. The Mail has possibly misconstrued a report on cosmetic products, published in September 2002 – this report actually recommends that teeth whitening cosmetic products containing more than the present level of 0.1% hydrogen peroxide are safe, provided that they are used under proper dental supervision, up to a maximum level of 6.0%. This includes “take-home” kits prepared by dentists for their patients. As such the Commission is examining how to incorporate these findings into law, whilst maintaining proper levels of public protection.