Dental Floss: Toxic substance in coating linked to cancer.
Teflon Dental Floss?
Scientists have found that certain dental floss is increasing the body’s toxic burden of harmful chemicals like per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
A study reported January 8, 2019 found certain behaviors like “flossing with Oral-B Glide dental floss, contribute to elevated levels in the body of toxic PFAS chemicals.” The study appears in Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology.
“All three (Oral B) Glide products tested positive for fluorine, consistent with previous reports that Glide is manufactured using Teflon-like compounds.
In addition, two store brand flosses with “compare to Oral-B Glide” labelling and one floss describing itself as a “single strand Teflon fiber” tested positive for fluorine.
Teflon is a brand name for PTFE, one of thousands of fluorinated chemicals known as PFASs or PFCs
PFAS are man-made chemicals that have been used for decades but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) is sounding the alarm.
The Link to Cancer, Infertility, Immune System Damage
PFAS chemicals are linked to kidney and testicular cancer, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, low birth weight, decreased fertility and immune system damage.
PFAS chemicals do not break down in the environment so they are found in soil, in food, in people and in animals around the world.
The study also found, “those who frequently ate prepared food in coated cardboard containers, such as French fries or takeout, had elevated blood levels of four PFAS chemicals compared to women who rarely ate such food.”
Why is PFAS used in dental floss and other products?
PFAS makes products resist grease and water and oil.
Where are we exposed to these harmful chemicals?
Teflon, Scotchgard, Gore-Tex, Microwave Popcorn Bags, Fast Food Wrappers, Coated Dental Floss
The Environmental Working Group stated, “PFASs are among the most worrisome of such chemicals. Compounds historically or currently used to make Teflon, Scotchgard, Gore-Tex, microwave popcorn bags, fast food wrappers and hundreds of other products have polluted people, animals, drinking water and the environment worldwide.”
- Cleaning products
- Fast food wrappers and containers (grease-resistant paper)
- Microwave popcorn bags
- Take out containers like pizza boxes and Chinese food boxes
- Some cosmetics (nail polish, eye makeup)
- Stain resistant fabrics and carpets
- Cookware (non-stick coatings)
- Water-repellent clothing
Apple Watch Wristband
PFOA is a compound that is used in the production of some plastics (fluoroelastomers and fluoropolymers). Apple Watch wristbands are made with fluoroelastomers.
What are the health effects of PFAS according to the CDC?
According to the CDC:
The health effects of PFOS, PFOA, PFHxS, and PFNA have been more widely studied than other per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Some, but not all, studies in humans with PFAS exposure have shown that certain PFAS may:
- affect growth, learning, and behavior of infants and older children
- lower a woman’s chance of getting pregnant
- interfere with the body’s natural hormones
- increase cholesterol levels
- affect the immune system
- increase the risk of cancer
How to lower exposure to PFAS
Change your dental floss to one without harmful chemical coatings
Filter drinking water
Avoid eating contaminated fish (check with fish advisory organizations)
Stop using non-stick cookware
Switch to safe cleaning products, make up and oral care products
Avoid water-resistant fabrics and stain-resistant materials
Try Thieves Dental Floss when you get started with the Thieves starter kit.
I use Thieves® Dental Floss. It is made with strong fibers that resist fraying. It is saturated with two layers of essential oils, offering double the protection to freshen your breath.
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