Thursday, January 10, 2019

Are You Flossing With PFAS Chemicals?

photo credit:  @thislittlemercy

If you use certain popular brands of dental floss you might be flossing with PFAS chemicals - the same chemical family of the very toxic and infamous 'Teflon chemicals' 

A new study by the Silent Spring Institute  , published this week in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology, has found that dental floss is a source of toxic PFAS exposure in humans

What are PfAS chemicals?

PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a family of chemicals used for their water- and grease-proofing properties.  The infamous Teflon is an example of a PFAS.  These substances have been linked with kidney and testicular cancer, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, low birth weight, decreased fertility and immune system damage.

How do these chemicals get into our bodies?
PFAS are commonly used in non stick pans, water proof winter gear, stainproofing furniture and carpet treatments, fast food  etc 

According to this new research some dental floss contains PFAS’s and using it “will result in a higher body burden of these toxic chemicals,” 

Study specifics
The study found: 
  • Women who flossed with Oral-B Glide tended to have higher levels of a type of PFAS called PFHxS (perfluorohexanesulfonic acid) in their body compared with those who didn’t. 
  • The researchers tested 18 dental flosses (including three Glide products) for the presence of fluorine — a marker of PFAS and found All three Glide flosses tested positive for fluorine, as did two store brands with “compare to Oral-B Glide” labels

Other not so great things about conventional floss

Most flosses are made from nylon, a plastic and petroleum product with a very slow decay rate, which means that every piece of floss ever used hangs around on Earth for a long time.

Most conventional flosses are also coated in petroleum based wax such as paraffin or microcrystalline wax - our bodies do not do well breaking down petroleum products. 

What to do? 
Flossing is an important part of one’s oral hygiene routine, so you definitely want to continue to floss and encouraging your little ones to floss- just skip the toxic chemicals:
  1. Look for natural waxed floss, made with beeswax Tea Tree floss
  2. Nylon is hard to avoid in flosses but an alternative are flosses made off silk. 

I have some of my favorite flosses on my Amazon Shop

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