Drain cleaning products have been taken off sale at 4 discount stores by Bexley Trading Standards Officers.

The move was made following a widespread search of 54 retail premises across the borough.

High strength Sulphuric acid products have previously been connected to criminal acid attacks on people.

The requirement to sell Sulphuric acid products is for the purchaser to be registered with the home office or registered in the trade.

Stores were visited by a Trading Standards Officer, and 8 suppliers were reminded of their responsibilities.

A test purchase exercise was later carried out to ensure stores were no longer supplying customers without the requirements to legally use Sulphuric acid products.

As a result, 4 suppliers who deal in ‘trade only’ sales were found to illegally sell the products to members of the public.

One supplier received a written warning and could face prosecution if they continue to sell without the required checks.

Councillor Peter Craske said: “I am proud that our Trading Standards team has taken a firm lead on this issue.

“It is vital that these industrial strength products do not fall into criminal hands.

"Of the 8 traders found to be illegally trading these products to the public, 7 acted responsibly by taking quick action to remedy that situation when picked up on it.

“The solitary supplier who defied that advice is now under close watch by our Trading Standards team."