What the Floss?

July 30, 2019

I have had my head in the sand. Quite literally, but to be honest I was too scared to look because what are the options post floss? Flossing my teeth is one of my daily habits (especially needed because I like smoothies with berry’s or green salads for lunch, and floss clears those embarrassing moments, before they happen).  I knew it wasn’t great, but I didn’t know that it could be this bad….

 

Oral B’s tooth floss has been linked to heart disease, liver failure and cancer because of their content, perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (a form of PFAS a group of over 4700 synthetic chemicals). Mmm, if you are left wondering what PFAS are, so was I.  They are a group chemicals that makes non-stick pans non-stick (Teflon), but we don’t chew on non-stick pans. PFAS are also found in so many of our everyday products, pizza boxes, furniture (scotch guard), stain resistant clothing, drinking water and our food packaging (migrating to food).

 

Look, let’s be honest our bodies can deal with a little exposure mmmm, maybe, (that’s undefined by science), unfortunately it is known that persistent long-term exposure is a big problem. PFAS are eloquently named forever chemicals, because they persistently remain in the system (ours and the environment). In the body they build up in the proteins of our cells especially those found in our liver and kidneys. Research has intensified in recent decades, with field and laboratory models also suggesting elevated levels of such chemicals risk depressing the immune system, damaging the liver, fertility problems, thyroid disease, crossing the placenta to affect fetal development.

 

I got to point out here that Colgate were not squeaky clean in the PFAS levels either, their levels were just lower than Oral B’s.

 

Sooo, as not to leave anyone up a creak without floss I will point out there are safe options here in little old NZ. They start with pure silk and end with some wax it really is that easy and the packaging is environmentally friendly and refillable too.

 

Products found in local supermarkets and online are.

 

https://ohnatural.co.nz/product/eco-floss-compostable-dental-floss/

https://shop.countdown.co.nz/shop/productdetails?stockcode=694112&name=do-gooder-eco-floss-dental-floss-pure-silk

 

Further Reading

 

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/dental-floss-harmful-chemicals/

https://www.sciencealert.com/dental-floss-could-be-leaving-traces-of-a-potentially-toxic-compound-in-your-body

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5551129/

https://www.epa.gov/pfas/basic-information-pfas

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/01/23/dental-floss-toxic-chemicals-exposure.aspx

 

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