SELLING unsafe teeth whitening products, with high levels of hydrogen peroxide, over the internet has cost a Llandrindod Wells man over £4,000.
Phillip Alan Palfrey of Dolidre, Tremont Road in Llandrindod Wells appeared before Llandrindod Wells Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, June 21 in a prosecution led by Powys County Council’s Trading Standards Service.
The court heard that the council’s Trading Standards Service became aware that an eBay account called ‘whiteteethshopping’ was advertising teeth whitening gel and that the account was registered to an address in Llandrindod Wells. Checks at that address identified a Phillip Palfrey residing there.
A test purchase took place in March 2016 from the eBay account and a ‘Phillips ZOOM 16 Nite White Teeth Whitening Gel’ product was supplied with three accompanying syringes for £37.99.
The product was sent for analysis to Kent Scientific Laboratories to assess the hydrogen peroxide content. The analysis revealed the content to be 5.88 per cent, some 58.8 times the lawful limit of 0.1 per cent.
A search warrant was executed at the premises in July 2016 where Palfrey accompanied trading standards officers to his bedroom where 10 boxes of ‘Phillips ZOOM’ were visible. Additional products were located within a drawer in the same bedroom while empty packing for the same product was located in a room of the ground floor. All were seized as evidence.
The court heard that Palfrey was cautioned and asked questions where he disclosed that he had broken down the contents of the original packaging into units and despatched them separately.
Samples of the seized product were also sent for analysis which showed the hydrogen peroxide content to be 5.67 per cent, 56.7 times the lawful limit of 0.1 per cent.
In November 2016, Palfrey was formally interviewed under caution when he confirmed he distributed the product and that he split the Philips ZOOM product into separate packages and distributed the same in different packaging that did not include the statutory requirements of labelling, use and content.
Magistrates fined Palfrey £200 for the first charge, reduced from £300 due to his early guilty plea, with no separate penalties for the remaining two charges. He was also ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge along with prosecution costs of £3,843.50.
The court also ordered that the seized products are subject to forfeiture and destruction.
Cllr Jonathan Wilkinson, Cabinet Member responsible for Trading Standards, said: “We must protect the public from sellers of unsafe products. Our trading standards team monitors the internet to ensure that suspect activity is detected, dealt with and shut down.
“High levels of peroxide could cause harm to users and anyone thinking of teeth whitening products should first contact their dentist and get advice from the General Dental Council on the suitability of teeth whitening products.”