Belfast Telegraph

Probation for Belfast businessman over 'carcinogenic' tooth whitening products supply

Samuel Irvine-Madine. Pic: BBC
Samuel Irvine-Madine. Pic: BBC
Mr Samuel Irvine Madine, owner of the HD Smile Clinic on the Shankill Road, previously pleaded guilty to five charges. Credit: Google Maps
Andrew Madden

By Andrew Madden

A Belfast businessman escaped jail and was handed a 12-month probation order for the use and supply of "carcinogenic" tooth whitening products.

Samuel Irvine Madine, owner of the HD Smile Clinic on the Shankill Road, previously pleaded guilty to five charges after a case was brought by Belfast City Council.

He has a previous conviction for a similar offence he was convicted for in 2015. On that occasion Madine admitted to unlawfully holding himself out as being prepared to practice dentistry. He also pleaded guilty to unlawfully using the title "dental therapist".

The latest prosecution followed an investigation by the council into a complaint made in April 2015.

Tooth whitening falls within the practice of dentistry. Legally, it can only be carried out by individuals regulated by the GDC, such as dentists and dental therapists.

Officers from the council's Environmental Health Department carried out several inspections at the HD Smile Clinic and seized four products for testing. The seized products were found to contain sodium perborate, a banned substance which is carcinogenic.

Testing also found all products to contain levels of hydrogen peroxide in excess of the permitted level of 0.1%.

One product was found to contain more than 300 times the permitted level.

As such, the products were found to be in breach of the Cosmetic Product Enforcement Regulations 2013.

Professor Angus Walls, director of the Dental Institute in Edinburgh, advised that “the risks of chemical burns and malignant change are much greater with increased percentage of hydrogen peroxide”.

Speaking following Mr Madine's guilty pleas last month, a British Dental Association spokesperson said the businessman was using levels of hydrogen peroxide higher than licensed dentists are legally allowed to use.

"It's the equivalent of brushing your teeth in bleach," they added.

"Such high levels of hydrogen peroxide are likely to cause irreparable harm to teeth and gums, including blisters and burns to the gum and damage to nerves and tooth enamel.

"This man's reckless disregard for his customer's health is confirmed by his use of sodium perborate, a carcinogenic substance which is banned across Europe."

Appearing before Belfast Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, Madine was sentenced to 12 months probation and ordered to pay court costs of £1,500.

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