The Association between PFAS and Dental Flossing


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The involvement of Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) has greatly increased in everyone’s life. These substances are found in a lot of products such as fast food containers and certain forms of clothing.

Dust and contaminated water are some other sources of these harmful compounds. Exposure to these substances makes one susceptible to PFAS on daily life.

But what is so dangerous about these agents anyway?

As per the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), these manmade agents have a tendency to accumulate in the human body. What makes them more dangerous is that they do not break down.

Because humans are regularly exposed to PFAS, researchers have been striving to get information about their effects on human health. So far, they have established links between PFAS exposure and health problems like testicular cancer, renal cancer, thyroid disease, and high cholesterol.

A new study has studied human behaviors to check if they have any associations with exposure to PFAS. The participants of this study were middle-aged women, 178 in number, half of which were non-Hispanic while the other half were African-American.

These women had already been a part of the Child Health and Development Studies conducted by Public Health Institute conducted from 1959 to 1967. The aim of this study was to check the impact of environmental chemicals on the disease.

PFAS Concentration in Floss

The scientists of the current study took blood samples from these women between 2010 and 2013.

They thoroughly examined the samples and found 11 different types of PFAS in them. Then they interviewed every woman separately during 2015-2016. The interview included questions about their behaviors that may be linked with PFAS exposure.

The areas they addressed included stain-resistant furniture, food consumption, and dental flossing.

After determining all the blood measurements, the scientists compared them with the answers provided by women during interviews. They also considered other factors like the area were they lived and if it had PFAS-contaminated water.

The results of this study are present in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology.

The most important result of this study was a high level of PFAS found in dental floss.

The researcher investigated this link by checking 18 different types of flosses to detect any fluorine.

They reported that Glide floss, as well as 3 non-Glide flosses, were tested positive for fluorine which denotes the presence of PFAS. This coincided with the previous results which found high levels of a PPFAS known as PFHxS in the blood of women who used Glide gloss.

Changing Behaviors

Some other important findings of the current study include that the African-American females who were consuming pre-prepared foods wrapped in coated cardboard packets, like takeout, were found to have a higher concentration of 4 different types of PFAS.

This was in comparison to the blood levels of women who rarely ate this kind of food.

Residing in an area having PFAS-contaminated water or living in a house having stain-resistant furniture or carpets as also found to have associations with high PFAS amount in the blood.


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Samantha Issac
Samantha is a graduate of Medicine with masters in Public Health. Most of her writings are in medicinal tools, technology, and treatments. In addition to that, she is a freelance healthcare writer based in the USA.

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