Local Councils Call for Tougher Punishments for People Offering Illegal Whitening

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The Local Government Association (LGA) has called for tougher punishments for people who offer illegal whitening treatment.

The LGA, which represents more than 170 local councils across England and Wales, believes that the government should sanction harsher penalties for those found guilty of providing whitening treatment without the relevant dental qualifications. Some kits available to the public contain more than 300 times the legal quantity of hydrogen peroxide. The LGA is worried that illegal providers are putting the public’s health at risk and consumers are unaware that they are receiving treatment from an illegal source.

Representatives from the government said they were trying to make more people aware of the risks of seeing an illegal provider, but they have not yet made any comment on changes in punishments.

Whitening is a dental treatment and should therefore only be provided by trained dental professionals who are registered with the General Dental Council. The GDC has already prosecuted a number of individuals as part of a clamp down on illegal treatment. However, the LGA states that illegal whitening is rife. In Warwickshire, the LGA claimed that more than 1,500 illegal products have been seized, some of which contain more than 300 times the legal content of hydrogen peroxide.

Simon Blackburn, from the LGA, said that people are unwittingly putting their oral health at risk by buying products and seeking treatment from untrained practitioners.

The British Dental Association has also supported tougher sanctions for those found to be offering treatment illegally.

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