Hydrogen Peroxide Hazards in Teeth Whitening
First of all, Hydrogen Peroxide has extremely powerful bleaching capability making it very useful for cleaning anything from cleaning toilet to teeth whitening. However, if hydrogen peroxide is wrongly used (overdose or accident) it can be very dangerous for our health, and in serious situation could lead to death.
What is Hydrogen Peroxide?
Hydrogen Peroxide is a chemical compound that contains hydrogen and oxygen molecules (H2O2). It is a powerful oxidizer and are so effective to use for bleaching or as cleaning agent. It has a pH lower than 7 which means it is acidic in nature and the acidity can reach as low as pH 4.
Danger of Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen Peroxide is a dangerous chemical. Regulations are vary depending on different region, however, generally, low concentration (3% below) are commonly available and legal to purchase for medical purpose. Usually over-the-counter peroxide solutions cannot be allow to enter the stomach (accidental swallowing or eaten).
Why does hydrogen peroxide is considered dangerous? In higher concentrations, hydrogen peroxide is lethal and it will corrode anything that in contact with it, including human skin because it is a highly aggressive oxidizer . H2O2 will react to chemical reducing agent creating a strong and violent reaction.
Hydrogen peroxide at above 40% concentration, is considered as a D001 hazardous waste because based on US regulation, concentrated hydrogen peroxide would match the definition of a DOT oxidizer.
Hydrogen Peroxide Risks (Pure or Diluted Form)
There are couple of risks involved in hydrogen peroxide whether it is in pure or in diluted form.
- At 70% concentration it can be explosive when temperature hit 70 °C (158 °F).
- at 50% concentration it is corrosive. It may cause severe eyes damage, damage of mucous membranes and skin. Inhaling of it can affect your lung and severe pulmonary inflammation. If it is swallowed, it may cause internal bleeding.
- ingestion of large dosage of 3% concentration would cause mouth blistering or irritation, throat, stomach pain, diarrhea and vomiting.
- exposure to the hydrogen peroxide vapor is potentially hazardous. Hydrogen peroxide vapor is a primary irritant, primarily affecting the eyes and respiratory system. Prolong exposure to the vapor can permanently damage the lung.
- this chemical may cause skin disorders such as Vitiligo disease Recent studies have discovered increased H2O2 levels in the epidermis and in blood of the Vitiligo sufferers.
EU Ban on Peroxide Based Teeth Whitening
Due to it’s effectiveness in bleaching, this Hydrogen Peroxide is used to whiten teeth. There are many teeth whitening products out there using hydrogen peroxide but the EU step in to ban selling any home teeth whitening kit that contains Hydrogen Peroxide concentration more than 0.1%.
Under the new ruling, hydrogen peroxide concentration must not be allowed to be exceeded 0.1%. In a statement of the EU scientific research’s report said,
No study seems to be available concerning long-term use of toothpaste or mouth rinses containing hydrogen peroxide
Another statement warned:
‘A 16-monthold boy has died after an ingestion of a 3 per cent solution of hydrogen peroxide.’
A spokesman for the EU scientific committee on cosmetics and non-food products said,
‘We have followed the findings of our scientific committee, to protect users of such products from harm.
Due to this new ruling, a lot of teeth whitening kit had been recalled from the market. Also, with 0.1% of Hydrogen Peroxide concentration, this compound is not effective to whiten teeth.
Alternative to Hydrogen Peroxide
The new solution to teeth whitening is Sodium Bicarbonate. And this best teeth whitening kit has hit the market and it promises to be the fastest and safest effective teeth whitening product on the market. This product is called Zero Peroxide.
Filed under: Teeth Whitening Ingredient
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