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Product liability lawyer comments on prison sentences for men selling illegal tooth whitening products

A specialist in beauty product claims is pleased to see that the courts continue to take a strong stance on businesses selling illegal tooth whitening products

Tooth whitening

3 October 2016

A product liability lawyer who specialises in beauty product claims is pleased to see that the courts continue to take a strong stance on businesses selling illegal tooth whitening products as another two men are handed custodial sentences for disregarding the law regulating tooth whitening treatment.

John Hargreaves, 69, and his son Matthew, 44, from Cheshire, were each sentenced to 18 months imprisonment at Merthyr Crown Court on 16 September. They made over £3 million selling the dangerous tooth whitening products at shows and in shopping centres across the country.

A Trading Standards’ investigation into the dental products found them to contain hydrogen peroxide levels up to 110 times the legal limit.

Under the The Cosmetic Products (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 it is illegal for tooth whitening products which contain more than 6% hydrogen peroxide or for any associated products which release greater than 6% hydrogen peroxide to be supplied or administered for cosmetic purposes.

In addition, tooth whitening products containing or releasing between 0.1%-6% hydrogen peroxide should not be made directly available to the consumer, other than through treatment by a General Dentistry Council registered dentist (or dental hygienist or dental therapist or clinical dental technicians working to a dentist’s prescription).

The father and son sold the products for eight years and managed to evade the authorities by closing companies and starting others with new names and addresses. One of their customers had suffered chemical burns as a result of using the product.

The pair were finally caught following an undercover Trading Standards operation. They pleaded guilty to participating in a fraudulent business, an offence under the 2006 Fraud Act.

Meera Lachani from the Product Liability team at Leigh Day investigating claims into illegal tooth-whitening products said: “Irreversible damage can be caused by supplying dangerous tooth whitening products in this way and it is reassuring to see that Trading Standards are continuing in their efforts to clamp down on such illegal practices. It is common for companies acting in this way to wind down companies in the hope that they will not get caught, however, the law is clear and ultimately it is there to protect consumers against the dangers of illegal teeth whitening practices and products."

If you would like to discuss an injury caused by a tooth whitening product, please contact us on 0207 650 1200 for a free consultation.

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