Not many people know that popular brands of floss are made from nylon coated with synthetic, petroleum-based wax such as toxic Teflon, a highly toxic synthetic chemical that creates a soap-like slipperiness and non-stick finish called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), or polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), another ingredient that also provides the coating in non-stick cookware.
Modern day dental floss is now made with space age materials such as Gore-Tex. Teflon is another material used in dental floss brought to you by the company DuPont, adding teflon to dental floss allows it to glide across the teeth effortlessly. Synthetic wax is also another substance used in the manufacture of floss.
For 50 years, DuPont used PFOA to make Teflon. Throughout that time, the company has defended the safety of PFOA, and still resists accountability for health problems resulting from exposure to this day. However, the truth has finally come to light.
The dangers have become undeniable, and DuPont’s connection to this poison is starting to receive attention in the mainstream media.
According to the U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, PFCs contaminate the blood of virtually every American alive today. They are found in animals in the most remote corners of the world, and lab tests have found that they are even passed to babies still in the womb.
PFOA is thought to be linked to several cancers, as well as thyroid disease, high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, and more.
PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic Acid) or C8 is an essential ingredient in Teflon and for decades was used in a huge range of different products (nonstick cookware and bakeware, pizza boxes, coatings for eye glasses, waterproof clothing, and stain-proof coatings for carpets, to name a few).
Because of exposure through consumer products and due to exposure as a result of the disposal of millions of pounds of chemical waste into the air, water, and landfills, 99.7% of Americans have PFOA in their blood.
List of ingredients in the ‘big brands’
- Nylon – Plastic / Petroleum based. Takes forever to break down in landfill and we globally use enough dental floss to circle the earth several times, per year!
- Teflon – Hormone altering PFCs, into our gums and leaching into our blood stream, with a big fat notorious carcinogen.
- Synthetic Wax covering made from more, petroleum. Our bodies don’t know how to break this stuff down and neither does our planet.
Types of dental floss distinguished by their varying thicknesses
- Ultra Floss; best suited for people with varying spaces between teeth. This is because it can stretch thin to fit through tight spaces and can relax to being slightly thick for slightly wider spaces.
- Flossing Picks; floss can sometimes hurt when wrapped around a finger or may not be effective for removing floss from the back teeth. In such a case, Flossing Picksare recommended.
- Waxed Floss; People with little space between teeth are advised to use waxed floss as most of them contain sodium fluoride and other antibacterial agents. Theyalso glide easily between teeth.
- Un-waxed Floss; these are bestfor teeth not too tight together.
- Tape Floss; it is like a ribbon and is most appropriate for people with wider teeth spaces.E.g.the Colgate Dental Tape.
- Teflon Floss; a good example of Teflon Flossis the Crest ‘Glide’ floss.The fact that it is made of Teflon means it will not get stuck between teeth.If it does, it will come out easily. This type of floss is made for those who are reluctant to floss as it glides easily between teeth.
How can PFCs affect people’s health?
Scientists are not sure about the health effects of human exposure to PFCs. Some studies show that animals given high levels of PFCs have changes in the liver, thyroid, pancreas, and hormone levels.
Scientists are not sure what animal data means about human exposure. PFCs act differently in humans than they do in animals and may be harmful in different ways.
PFCs build up and stay in the human body and the amount goes down very slowly over time. So scientists and doctors are concerned about their effects on human health.
Studies in humans have shown that certain PFCs may affect the developing fetus and child. They may also decrease fertility, change the body’s natural hormones, increase cholesterol, and affect the immune system. They may even increase cancer risk.
Studies have tied PFOA to an incredible range of health effects throughout the body, often even at very low exposure levels. These health effects include:
- ovarian cancer
- prostate cancer
- reduced fertility
- altered immune responses in children
- hypotonia, or ‘floppiness,’ in infants”
- ulcerative colitis
- high cholesterol
- pregnancy-induced hypertension
- thyroid disease
- testicular cancer
- kidney cancer
A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that elevated levels of perfluoro chemicals in human blood are associated with a reduced effectiveness of childhood vaccinations, such as diphtheria and tetanus vaccinations.
According to a new study, a group of compounds that are used in a variety of products, from microwave popcorn to water-resistant clothing, may actually prevent childhood vaccinations from working properly. A 2010 study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that people with higher levels of PFOA in their blood were more likely to suffer from thyroid disease.
Until they do a study that proves that putting the mouth tissues into contact with PFOA and other PFCs is definitely safe, steer clear of a Teflon coating on floss, which many conventional brands continue to use.
EPA’s site on Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Fluorinated Telomers – www.epa.gov
Ohio Citizen Action’s DuPont and Teflon Chemicals Campaign – blog about C8 or PFOA pollution. – See more at: http://www.inspirationgreen.com/perfluorinated-compounds#sthash.qu1lVwhR.dpuf