Oral B Glide dental floss has been found to contain toxic chemicals such
perfluoroalkylated substances PFAS. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse human health effects.”
A new study by US physicians emphasizes that flossing could increase exposure to perfluoroalkylated substances (PFAS). The research raises concern about PFS because of their link with testicular and kidney cancer, with thyroid diseases and high cholesterol, as well as with low birth weight, decreased fertility and immune system problems.
In their research, published in Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, doctors from the Silent Spring Institute and the Public Health Institute in Berkeley, California, measured quantities of 11 types of PFS in the blood samples of 178 women. Women who used Oral-B Glide dental floss revealed higher levels of a type of PFAS called PFHxS (perfluorohexanesulfonic acid) in their body compared to those who did not.
To better understand this connection, the researchers analyzed 18 dental threads – including 3 products of the Glide line – to detect the presence of fluoride, a PFAS marker, by a technique called particle-induced particle-induced gamma-ray emission spectroscopy (PIGE).
The three Glide products tested positive for fluorine, which is in accordance with previous reports, according to which Glide is manufactured using compounds similar to Teflon. In addition, two other threads also tested positive for fluoride.
“This is the first study to show that the use of dental floss containing PFAS is associated with a greater body burden of these toxic chemicals,” says the study’s lead author, Katie Boronow, a researcher at the Silent Spring Institute. “The good news is that, according to our findings, consumers can choose threads that do not contain PFAS,” he said.
The study revealed other aspects associated with higher levels of PFAS, such as the presence in the home of carpets or furniture resistant to stains, as well as the fact of living in a city with drinking water supply contaminated by PFAS. Also, the research revealed that African-American women who frequently ate foods served in cardboard boxes, such as chips or other take-out, had high levels of four types of PFAS in their blood compared to women who rarely ate this type of food.