Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are toxic. They are linked to cancer, liver damage, infertility, asthma, thyroid disease, and other serious health problems.
The problem is that it’s hard to stay away from these chemicals. That’s because they are used in a wide range of consumer goods. PFAS are in carpeting, nonstick cookware, cosmetics, cleaning products, paints, and fast-food wrappers. And that’s just the beginning.
But there’s another product with PFAS that may be more dangerous than others, according to a new study. That’s because you put it inside your body where it can do serious damage.
The research comes from the Silent Spring Institute in collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley’s Public Health Institute. Scientists analyzed blood samples from 178 middle-aged subjects. They measured the amount of 11 different PFAS in the samples.
The team found that subjects who flossed with Oral-B Glide had elevated levels of PFAS.
Further testing revealed that other flosses also contained the chemicals.
They include: CVS Health EaseBetween SuperSlip, Crest Glide Deep Clean Cool Mint, Safeway Signature Care Mint, and Colgate Total Mint.
The scientists say these brands contain Teflon-like compounds. Teflon is notorious for its PFAS content. Experts have warned against using dental floss made of these compounds due to risk of cancer, hormone disruption, and brain and liver problems.
Dr. Katie Boronow was the study’s lead author. She said that the study shows that “consumer products are an important source” of PFAS exposure. “Restricting these chemicals from products should be a priority to reduce levels in people’s bodies.”
Choose the Right Dental Floss
The study doesn’t suggest you should stop flossing.
“The good news is, based on our findings, consumers can choose flosses that don’t contain PFAS,” said Dr. Boronow.
Follow Dr. Boronow’s advice. Don’t use Teflon-coated floss. Instead, stick to old-fashioned wax-coated or uncoated flosses. There are lots of choices.