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Dental Floss Might be Associated with Toxic Materials

Dental Floss Might be Associated with Toxic Materials

Friday, 11 January, 2019 - 07:00
Flossing your teeth with certain types of floss could expose you to higher levels of toxic chemicals according to new research.
Cairo - Hazem Badr
A new US study has warned from toxic substances that can be transmitted into your body through dental floss, which contains a PFAS chemical substance.

PFAS are resistant to water and grease, and usually interfere with fast-food packaging, waterproof clothing and stain-resistant carpet. Consumers can be exposed to PFAS through the products they use and the food they eat, and even through the air and dust inside their homes.

Previous studies also warned from the risk of using these materials, which contribute to high levels of toxic chemicals. But the new study, published Wednesday in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology (JESEE), said it found PFAS in a type of dental floss.

During the study, led by the Silent Spring Institute in collaboration with the Public Health Institute in Berkeley, California, researchers measured 11 different PFAS chemicals in blood samples taken from 178 middle-aged women and then compared blood measurements with the results of interviews in which they asked women about nine behaviors that can lead to increased exposure.

The study’s lead author, Katie Boronow, said in a report published on the Institute's website in conjunction with the study: "We found that 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. By using a technique called PIGE spectroscopy, Oral-B Glide products were tested, and we found the acid in the blood of the women."

"We found other PFAS materials in the blood of some women who consume fast food wrapped in paper, or have stain-resistant carpets or waterproof clothing, but the surprise was in the dental floss," she said.

Scientists are concerned about the widespread use of PFAS, especially after studies have shown their health risks.

According to Boronow, "these substances are linked to health effects leading to kidney and testicular cancer, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, low birth weight, low fertility, and immune system problems.”

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