A recent search by Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has prompted the agency to warn the public against several unaccredited products, which include a teeth-whitening kit and three bodybuilding products.
DIY teeth-whitening kit might cost more than money
The do-it-yourself (DIY) teeth whitening kit, named “Beautiful – Cold Light Teeth Whitening Kit” was found to contain 4% hydrogen peroxide – which was above the 0.1% limit allowed in cosmetic products available for direct sales to consumers via e-commerce platforms.
As echoed by a HSA spokesperson, such products should be labelled with relevant warning statements, e.g. “Not for direct sale to the public. For supply only through qualified dental practitioner.”
At high concentrations with a longer contact time (in this case for teeth whitening purposes), hydrogen peroxide can be potentially corrosive, causing “chemical burns” to the gums, and may worsen pre-existing teeth and gum problems, including gingivitis, periodontal disease and gingival lesions.
Therefore, a strict regulation is imposed on the limit of its concentrations. Teeth whitening products above the 0.1% limit can only be supplied by dental practitioners, and used under their supervision, highlighted HSA.
The cause of teeth discoloration must also be assessed by dental practitioners prior to undergoing teeth whitening procedures. Poor identification or treatment of pre-existing conditions such as dentine hypersensitivity, active decay and gum disease may result in intense sensitivity after the whitening or bleaching of exposed nerve tissue, said Dr Huang Shiming from TP Dental Surgeons.
HSA is aware that the product is available on various e-commerce platforms and is working with them (the sellers) to remove the sale listings of this product,” iterated the HSA spokesperson.
Body enhancement at the price of cancer, bodily injury and death
Meanwhile, the HSA also warns against three bodybuilding products – Enhanced Athlete Cardarine, Enhanced Athlete Ligandrol and Enhanced Athlete Mutant YK-11 – which were sold online by Enhanced Athlete Singapore. These products are marketed to increase muscle mass and strength, enhancing athletic performance.
However, these products contain harmful chemicals that are still under research, and have yet to be approved for medical use in Singapore. For instance, GW501516 (Cardarine), deemed a “black market substance”, is toxic and reportedly causes cancers in animal studies. The World Anti-Doping Agency had also warned users in 2013 of the serious dangers associated with the use of Cardarine, remarked HSA.
Each of these products has been labelled “Not for human use/consumption”, besides carrying warnings of side effects, including serious bodily injury and death. Additionally, there are no dosage instructions on the product labels. Yet, there are still direct supplies to consumers.
"Given these warnings on the label, consumers taking these products are risking their health and safety," expressed HSA, further iterating that “The harmful and potentially deadly adverse effects are not worth it.”
Watchdog introduces “post-market surveillance system” to monitor safety of productsHSA advised consumers to quit taking these products immediately, and arrange medical consultation if they feel unwell.
It also reminded the public to "consider buying from websites with an established retail presence in Singapore," and be aware of products purchased online or from unfamiliar sources, as they “could contain potent ingredients, or could be counterfeit or substandard”.
HSA assured that it will continue to monitor and act against any parties who lead direct sales of the unsafe products to the public. The agency has currently placed a “post-market surveillance system” to monitor the safety of cosmetic products, and those found to be unsafe will be removed from the market.
For supplying an un-notified cosmetic product, sellers of the product could face a fine up to SGD20,000, a jail term of up to one year, or both. Suppliers of the products which do not comply with the labelling requirements may face a fine up to SGD50,000, a jail term of up to two years, or both. MIMS
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