Oral-B dental floss linked to toxic chemicals, study claims

By | January 9, 2019

If your New Year’s resolution involved flossing, you may want to do your homework on what brand to buy before you stock up.

According to a study conducted by the Silent Spring Institute and Public Health Institute in Berkeley, the popular Oral-B Glide floss may be exposing you to elevated levels of toxic chemicals. Specifically, the authors are concerned about the product containing perfluorooctanesulfonic acids (PFAS), The New York Post reported.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), PFAS are man-made chemicals that can be found in non-stick cookware, water-repellent clothing, stain-resistant fabrics and carpets, cosmetics, firefighting foams and other household products.

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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. Several studies have linked PFAS to risk of certain cancers, thyroid disease, decreased fertility, immune system issues and high cholesterol.

The researchers studied blood samples from 178 middle-aged women and assess the levels of 11 different PFAS chemicals. They then asked the women about nine behaviors that could lead to potential exposure to PFAS, and found those who flossed with Oral-B Glide tended to have higher levels of a certain PFAS than those who didn’t.

“This is the first study to show that using dental floss containing PFAS is associated with a higher body burden of these toxic chemicals,” Katie Boronow, staff scientists at Silent Spring and lead author of the study, said, according to The New York Post. “The good news is, based on our findings, consumers can choose flosses that don’t contain PFAS.”

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A representative for Proctor & Gamble, which manufactures Oral-B products, told The New York Post that consumer safety is the company’s number one priority.

“Our dental floss undergoes thorough safety testing and we stand by the safety of all our products,” the representative said.

The study was published in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology.


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