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Dental Floss Use, Other Behaviors And Choices Expose Body To Potentially Toxic Chemicals

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Dental floss use is among the daily behaviors researchers found to contribute to elevated levels of a potentially toxic chemical in the body. Specifically, those who use Oral-B Glide dental floss had higher PFAS concentrations.   ( Anthony Karam | Wikimedia Commons )

A new study suggests that certain behaviors and choices lead to higher per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) concentrations in the body. It is the first study to link Oral-B Glide dental floss and higher PFAS concentrations.

What are the other behaviors or choices that expose people to the potentially harmful chemicals?

PFAS

PFAS are grease- and water-proof chemicals that are used in a wide range of products, from non-stick pans and water-proof clothing to dental floss, fast food packaging, and stain-resistant carpets. In the past, PFAS have been linked to various health issues such as testicular cancer, kidney cancer, high cholesterol, thyroid disease, decreased fertility, low birth weight, and immune system issues.

As wide-ranging as PFAS-use is, exactly how do most people get exposed to PFAS? To shed light on the matter, a team of researchers took blood samples from 178 middle-aged women enrolled in the Public Health Institute’s Child Health and Development Studies and analyzed them for 42 chemicals including 11 PFAS analytes.

PFAS In Dental Floss

Interestingly, researchers found that the participants who used dental floss, specifically Oral-B Glide, tended to have higher levels of PFAS in their body. Furthermore, in a test of 18 dental flosses, three Glide products as well as two other brands that compare their products to Oral-B Glide tested positive for fluorine, a PFAS marker.

According to authors, this is the first study to link dental floss with higher PFAS in the body and that their results could help consumers choose products that don’t have PFAS.

PFAS Exposure

Apart from using dental floss with PFAS, other behaviors or choices linked to higher PFAS levels in the body include living in a city with a PFAS-contaminated water supply, as well as owning stain-resistant carpet or furniture.

Among African American women, those who frequently consumed prepared food in cardboard containers had higher levels of four PFAS in their blood compared to those who do not typically eat such kinds of food.

According to researchers, their study shows how much consumer products contribute to PFAS exposures and how important it is to reduce such chemicals in products.

The study is published in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology.

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