PFAS are water- and grease-proof substances that have been linked with numerous health problems.
Oral-B Glide dental floss are made from a plastic holder with a piece of floss strung between two prongs.
Silent Spring's Katie Boronow, the lead author of the study, said that "this is the first study to show that using dental floss containing PFAS is associated with a higher body burden of toxic chemicals". Good Habits of People Who Have Great Teeth.
Ms Boronow, a graduate student, advised consumers to limit their exposures by modifying their behaviour. Exposure to the chemicals occurs through using products which contain PFAS, eating food that has been in contact with these products, exposure to indoor air and dust, and through drinking contaminated drinking water.
A new study suggests that certain behaviors and choices lead to higher per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) concentrations in the body.
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.
This is a multigenerational analysis of the impact of environmental chemicals and other factors on disease.
The chemicals do not break down once introduced to the environment, meaning they can be found in the blood of people and animals worldwide, leaving researchers concerned about the potential effects of long-term exposure.
Those who used Oral-B Glide tended to have more PFHxS compared with those who didn't. To further understand the results, the researchers tested 18 dental flosses (including three Glide products) for the presence of fluorine - a marker of PFAS - using a technique called particle-induced gamma-ray emission (PIGE) spectroscopy. The new findings are consistent with previous reports that Glide is manufactured using Teflon-like compounds.
Velvet Gogol Bennett, the spokesperson for Procter & Gamble, Oral-B's parent company, pointed out that the study did not just focus on flossing but also on a variety of behaviors, which could have contributed to the body's exposure to PFAS.
They are also present in stain-resistant furniture or carpet and even in water. 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.
The same phenomenon was not identified among white participants.
Published in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology, the study singled out the popular Oral-B Glide floss for containing perfluorooctanesulfonic acids (PFAS), man-made chemicals that is linked to harmful health effects in humans and animals. After that, they have asked all the women about their nine behaviors which can lead to exposure to these PFAS chemicals.