Manu Fernandez, AP
A woman uses an interactive electric toothbrush from Oral-B connected with a smartphone with Bluetooth at the Mobile World Congress, the world's largest mobile phone trade show in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, March 4, 2015.

SALT LAKE CITY — A new study suggests that the popular Oral-B Glide floss may be exposing people who use it to toxic chemicals.

What happened: The study, which was conducted by the Silent Spring Institute and the Public Health Institute in Berkeley, California, says the Oral-B floss could contain perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, the New York Post reports.

Method: The researchers reviewed blood samples from 178 middle-aged women who had levels of 11 different PFAS chemicals. They asked the women what could lead to PFAS exposure, and they found those who flossed with Oral-B Glide were more likely to have higher levels of PFAS, Fox News reports.

PFAS: PFAS are man-made chemicals that are used in consumer and industry products, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

PFAS can:

  • Affect growth, learning and behavior for children.
  • Lower a woman’s chance at pregnancy.
  • Interfere with hormones.
  • Affect the immune system.
  • Increase cancer risks.

Study: The study tested 18 dental flosses, including three more Glide products, for fluorine. All three of those tested positive for the fluorine, which is an indicator of PFAS.

7 comments on this story
  • “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.”
  • “Overall, this study strengthens the evidence that consumer products are an important source of PFAS exposure,” she said. “Restricting these chemicals from products should be a priority to reduce levels in people’s bodies.”

Reaction: A representative for Procter & Gamble, which manufactures the floss, told the New York Post that safety is important for the company.

  • “The safety of the people who use our products is our No. 1 priority. Our dental floss undergoes thorough safety testing and we stand by the safety of all our products.”