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27 Apr 2012 | Press Release

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Selected teeth whitening products withdrawn from consumer sales

Product Recalls and Alerts Whitening Teeth whitening

The Australian Dental Industry Association (ADIA) is assisting suppliers of quality dental products to understand the safety requirements for the supply of teeth whitening products.

The action follows clarification by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) of the concentrations of hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide that can be safely supplied in kits directly to consumers.

"This is an important issue for the dental industry, consumers, dentists and allied oral health professionals as many of the kits previously available are now being withdrawn, no longer available directly to consumers," said Troy Williams, ADIA Chief Executive Officer.

The ACCC has recently advised the dental industry that teeth whitening kits containing concentrations of greater than 6% hydrogen peroxide or 18% carbamide peroxide can no longer be supplied directly to consumers. This covers kits available for purchase in shops, available for purchase online or sold by dentists to patients as take-home kits.

"Until the ACCC clarified the safety requirements for teeth whitening products, it was not uncommon for kits containing concentrations of greater than 6% hydrogen peroxide or 18% carbamide peroxide to be sold directly to patients. The ACCC has advised that this practice is unsafe and inconsistent with the Poisons Standard. However, these kits can still be sold by the dental industry to registered healthcare professionals, provided they are not designed for unsupervised take-home use by patients", Mr Williams said.

ADIA notes that teeth whitening procedures can still be carried out by registered healthcare professionals using product with greater than 6% hydrogen peroxide or 18% carbamide peroxide. The caveat is that such procedures need to be performed under the direct supervision of the registered healthcare professional, usually within a dental practice.

"ADIA is currently working with suppliers of quality dental product to ensure that the requirements for the safe supply of teeth whitening products are understood and complied with," Mr Williams said.

Teeth whitening kits containing concentrations of 6% or less of hydrogen peroxide and 18% or less of carbamide peroxide can still be supplied directly to patients or consumers, including via over-the counter sales. However, ADIA cautions that such products need to be packaged in accordance with state regulations supporting the Poisons Standard and the mandatory requirements for the ingredient labeling of cosmetics.

As the peak representative body for the suppliers of quality dental product, ADIA is reviewing options to review the regulatory standards for teeth whitening products.

"ADIA is seeking an outcome that is based on a risk management approach designed to ensure public health and safety, while at the same time freeing industry from any unnecessary regulatory burden," Mr Williams concluded.

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