PFAS, PFAS Everywhere – Quite Possibly in Your Dental Floss

by | Sep 21, 2022 | Oral Health, Oral Hygiene

Once upon a time, folks were kind of smitten by the “miracles” of science brought to us by the likes of Monsanto:

It’s practically impossible to be so innocent anymore, as countless synthetic chemicals have been introduced into our environment since then, as well as our own bodies. Each of us is bombarded daily – through our water, our food, even our dental floss.

Yes, recent work by Environmental Health News (EHN) and Mamavation found evidence of PFAS in one-third of the samples they tested.

“PFAS” is shorthand for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, which are used in a vast array of consumer goods: nonstick cookware, food packaging, personal care items, cleaning supplies, water repellent fabrics, and much, much more.

And today they contaminate our water, air, and soil. They contaminate us. They persist in the environment. They are “forever chemicals.”

PFAS have been found to decrease fertility, increase developmental delays, increase some cancers, and interfere with our hormones. And for all that we do know about how they affect human health, there’s still much that we don’t know about them or in combination with the myriad other chemicals we’re routinely exposed to.

EHN and Mamavation tested 39 brands of dental floss. Of those that contained PFAS, some had rather low amounts (the lowest was 11 ppm), while a few contained quite a lot. As EHN reported,

Four products had more than 70,000 ppm, or 7 percent, PFAS, with Oral-B Glide testing at 248,900 ppm, or nearly 25 percent.

“None of these contaminants are something our readers want in their products,” Mamavation founder Leah Segedie wrote.

According to EHN, Oral-B denies the presence of any substances named in their report.

Whether that’s truth, falsehood, or spin, the bottom line is that this new report serves as a good, timely reminder of the importance of choosing nontoxic hygiene products, even something as simple as dental floss.

Fortunately, there are a lot of great options out there, typically marketed as eco-friendly, nontoxic, or zero waste products. Some explicitly advertise as being Teflon-free. This post from Natural Baby Mama offers a good, albeit, non-comprehensive list of PFAS-free floss options, which can give you an idea of all that’s available:

Already using eco-friendly floss? What’s your go-to brand? Let us – and others – know in the comments!

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