A chemical often used by illegal tooth whitening clinics and beauticians has been banned by the EU.

Borates, such as sodium perborate and perboric acid have been named on cosmetic products by EU legislation and ‘no exception to the ban has been granted’, according to the Council of European Dentists (CED). These substances have been classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction (CMR) and as such any substance classified as such, independent of its concentration, is prohibited for use in cosmetic products.

The CED has also issued a statement warning of the dangers of a chemical commonly used in unlicensed tooth whitening products in beauty salons. Products of the borate family do have teeth cleaning properties, but are considered to be very unsafe, and are potentially carcinogenic. To safeguard public health, the CED are reminding national authorities in EU states of the banning of the use of borates in cosmetic products and calling on them to take initiative to ensure that no such products are utilised for tooth whitening or are available on the market.