Some brands of dental floss include PFAS (polyfluoroalkyl substances), such as Teflon, to reduce friction. A study in 2019 suggested that PFAS appear to be ingested from floss and make their way into the blood. This is concerning because PFAS have been shown to cause tumors in animals; and in people, higher exposure to certain PFAS is associated with increased cholesterol, effects on the immune system, changes in liver enzymes, increased risk of kidney or liver cancer, thyroid hormone disruption, and low infant birth weights (EPA 2018
; CDC 2020
). Unfortunately, labels on dental floss are not always clear as to whether or not they contain PFAS.
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