A RUNCORN trader has been prosecuted for selling dangerous tooth whitener containing 146 times the safe level of hydrogen peroxide.

The chemical could have burnt gums, permanently damaged teeth and increased the risk of cancer, magistrates heard.

Darren Stanton, 47, of Newmoore Lane, Sandymoor, was ordered to complete 300 hours of community service after admitting 11 trading offences at Warrington Magistrates Court.

Trading Standards officers from Halton Council posed as customers and bought three products from his eBay business.

The products were all tested and found to be well in excess of the legal limit, the court heard on July 6.

A dental expert told magistrates that whitener with more than 0.1 per cent of peroxide used in an unsupervised manner could result in burns to unprotected gum tissue to the teeth and an increased risk of cancer of the soft tissues of the mouth.

Stanton admitted illegally selling his products online as ‘crest supreme professional whitestrips tooth whitener’ and ‘opalescence teeth whitening syringe pack’.

He also pleaded guilty to nine charges of failing to comply with European provisions on cosmetic products Stanton was ordered to pay £1,614 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Halton Cllr Dave Cargill, board member for Trading Standards, said: “The levels of hydrogen peroxide in tooth whiteners sold to the public is strictly controlled and must be less than 0.1 per cent because of the risks of injury.

“But some of the DIY whitening products this trader was selling exceeded this level by 146 times.

“We would urge Halton residents to think twice before buying these types of products and to seek professional advice from a dental practitioner before embarking on this type of treatment as some of the after effects can be irreversible.”

Halton Council’s Trading Standards service urges anyone who is aware of teeth whitener or any other unsafe goods being sold to contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0345 040506.

Retailers must not sell products containing more than 0.1 per cent hydrogen peroxide to the general public.

Dental practitioners registered with the General Dental Council (GDC), for example dentists, are permitted to use products containing up to six per cent as part of a supervised treatment.

Only registered dentists, hygienists, therapists or clinical dental technicians are permitted to carry out teeth whitening procedures and the GDC has powers to investigate and prosecute unlicensed teeth whitening providers.