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New study looks at possible damage from dental floss



This story has been updated with a comment by Oral-B.

The American Dental Association recommends using dental flossing or another interdental cleaner daily to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. However, a new study suggests that certain types of dental floss and other behaviors can actually increase the amount of toxic chemicals in the body.

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Research published this week in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology comes from the Silent Spring Institute in collaboration with the Public Health Institute of the University of California, Berkeley. For the study, scientists studied the blood samples of 1

78 middle-aged women in California and counted eleven different chemicals for perfluorine and polyfluoroalkyl (or PFAS) substances that were previously associated with various health implications, from testicular and thyroid disease to decreased fertility cholesterol.

The participants, half of whom were white or African American, are part of the University's Child Health and Development Studies, a multigenerational analysis of environmental chemicals against disease.

»LINK: 5 things you do" for your health "that are not so healthy

To understand behavioral changes, researchers compared the blood measurements with interviews with the women asking them for nine behaviors that, according to a press release, may lead to higher PFAS exposures. They also tested the presence of chemical markers for PFAS in six different dental flosses.

"In addition to special industrial applications and use in fire-fighting foams, PFAS are frequently used in consumer products," the study says. "Most commonly they are used in non-stick and water-, dirt- or grease-resistant coatings that are used for a variety of products, including food packaging, cookware, carpets, furniture, textiles and outdoor equipment." PFAS tend to be found in water, soil and American bodies due to their "extensive use and their permanent nature".

»LINK: If you have regular flossing, federal agencies say you can stop

The Results

According to the study, women who flossed with a particular dental floss – Oral-B Glide – had higher levels of PFAS-perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS) compared to women who did not. The National Institutes of Health notes that PFHxS has previously been associated with high cholesterol and altered thyroid function.

To further analyze the results, researchers investigated fluorine (a chemical PFAS marker) in 18 different dental flosses using a technique called particle-induced gamma radiation emission spectroscopy.

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The three tested Glide products proved to be positive. Two similar branded products marketed as comparable to Oral-B Glide and another marketed with "single-stranded Teflon fiber" were also tested positive for fluorine.

Previous reports have highlighted Glide's use of Teflon-like compounds. Teflon is the brand name of PFAS polytetrafluoroethylene, which the environmental group has warned against using dental floss because of cancer risks, hormonal imbalances, brain and liver problems and low birth weight.

In an email to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Thursday, Procter & Gamble, producer of Crest and Oral-B Floss, said, "We have confirmed that none of the substances in this report are used in our dental floss "The safety of the people who use our products is our top priority, our dental floss undergoes rigorous safety testing, and we care about the safety of all our products."

It is possible for participants to use PFAS chemicals from other sources were not included in the research or swallowed contaminated soil. Consumption of seafood from contaminated water. While author of the study Katie Boronow confirmed this in a statement to INSIDER, the researchers reiterated that the study was based on the use of self-reported substances, including the effects of flossing.

This is the first study to find "evidence that PTFE-based dental floss is dental flossing could contribute to a person's body burden through PFAS, but additional data is needed to confirm this finding," wrote the researcher.

The general sanitation class: You may want to avoid flossing with PFAS, Boronov said in a statement. 19659002] »RELATED: 4 ways to save money on dental care in the metro Atlanta – even without insurance

In addition to the lint findings, the researchers found higher PFAS scores when participants participated:

  • had stain-resistant carpets or furniture
  • living in a city with a PFAS-polluted drinking water supply
  • especially African American women)

The authors also noted that in this study, "African Americans ate more French fries than non-Hispanic whites. Therefore, we think that they could also eat more fast foods such as hamburger, which are sold in paper packaging. "Fluorinated chemicals are commonly detected in fast food packaging."

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One potential limitation, according to the study, is that there are other behaviors that can contribute to PFAS exposure that the researchers have not measured. For this reason, breed differences in PFAS chemicals were not clarified. Another restriction: number and location of participants. However, the authors report that the numbers were comparable to a nationally representative sample.

Future work should be immersed in Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans, as racial differences, according to the study, may contribute to the identification of "main pathways".

Although PFSA pollution from drinking water occurs, for example, water is considered a major public health threat against which most consumers can not do much. "This study confirms the evidence that consumer products [also] are an important source of PFAS exposure," Boronov said. "The restriction of these chemicals to products should be a priority to lower the body in the body."

Read the full study on nature.com.


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