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Ecoluxe offers a collection of ecofriendly bamboo made products for the environmentally conscious person or business.

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Tag: nylon

EcoLuxe Products, Sustainable, Sustainability, Chanelle Dupre, dental floss, plastic, non biodegradable, bamboo

The Wrong Dental Floss can Make You Sick

Dental floss, it keeps our teeth clean and many of us use it on a daily basis, sometimes more than twice a day. But did you know that depending on the brand you use, it could be toxic to your health? 

There are two issues with the typical dental floss in the market that is causing harm to us and our environment. First, the plastic container the floss sits in is tossed in the garbage and likely ends up in our landfill. Second, the actual floss, depending on the brand, is made with a toxic chemical called PFAS, while other brands offer nylon floss, which is a form of plastic.

PFAS is a Toxic Chemical in Your Dental Floss

A study conducted by Silent Spring Institute, a non-profit organization focused on women’s health and the environment, found that women who used the Oral-B Glide dental floss showed signs of having elevated levels of PFAS chemicals (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in their blood. 

PFAS are used in various products such as fast food packaging, non-stick pans, waterproof clothing – things we use and consume from daily. For those women who participated in this study, a particular type of PFAS called PFHxS (perfluorohexanesulfonic acid) was discovered in their blood sample. Elevated levels of this toxin can lead to greater risk with kidney and testicular cancer, higher cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, lower birth weights of newborns, thyroid disease, and fertility problems.

PFASs are found in many products so dental flossing alone would likely not be the sole contributor to these elevated levels of toxins in their body. However, the study conducted in January 2019, identified a common thread (pardon the pun) linking back to a specific type and material of dental floss used by a segment of the group participants.

dental floss, plastic, non biodegradable, bamboo

Teflon as an Ingredient in Dental Floss

Many dentists are aware of the toxic chemicals used in dental floss and the risk associated with prolonged and excessive exposure to it but very few dentists, will offer alternative, eco friendly and healthier substitutes. They leave this research and discovery up to you. They will just tell you to floss often to maintain good gum health and fresh breath.

Teflon is a brand name used for a group of man-made chemicals, the most common of which is polytetraflouroentylene (PTFE) – the chemical name for PFAS. Some dental floss contain PTFE (or PFAS) or otherwise, Teflon. Its non-stick characteristic makes it an ideal ingredient for waxed dental floss. However, it has been linked to hormone imbalance, cancer, autoimmune disease, Alzheimer’s and neurotoxicity. 

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Petroleum and Nylon Used in Dental Floss

We all know that petroleum is a fossil fuel that harms the environment. What many of us don’t know is that petroleum is used to produce nylon, a synthetic fibre that dental floss is made of. Nylon is a plastic which, when disposed of into the environment, does not naturally decompose. It is non biodegradable and ends up in our ecosystem for hundreds of years.

You may think that small pieces of nylon floss are harmless, but because it is made of mixed materials (most of which is man-made) and it is too small to go through the regular recycling process, it slips into our landfills. Imagine the impact we are having by disposing of dental floss everyday. 

The health effects of petroleum in our bodies are also cause for concern. Petroleum is known to be an endocrine disruptor. These are chemicals known to affect our developmental and reproductive health and may cause immunity issues. Even at low doses endocrine-disrupting chemicals can cause biological and developmental issues.

Whether your floss is made of nylon or polyester, they are both petroleum derived and create negative effects on the environment and ultimately our health. With 22% of personal care products containing petroleum based substances, replacing our dental floss (which we use everyday) with more eco friendly, organic alternatives like silk or bamboo vegan floss with candelilla coating is the right choice.

dental floss, plastic, non biodegradable, bamboo

The Bamboo Dental Floss 

With its tensil strength fibers and its organic characteristic, bamboo made dental floss is the perfect alternative to the man-made synthetic versions. It’s not only healthier for you, but when disposed of, they decompose within 60 – 90 days. With naturally occurring products, like bamboo, you are eliminating your exposure to the harmful and toxic chemicals found in man-made materials.

In addition to reducing or eliminating the synthetic floss in our everyday ritual, you may also want to consider using a refillable and reusable stainless steel or glass container instead of the plastic container. Rather than throwing away the container that holds your floss, get a glass or stainless steel container that you can use for many months. 

Other alternative floss packaging available include craft boxes (again, biodegradable and eco friendly) which you can refill and dispose of guilt-free. This combination of products – bamboo or silk floss and reusable and refillable container, is better for your body and the environment. 

Making the Right Choices Despite the Retail Options

You may wonder why retailers offer such limited non eco friendly choices in the market when it comes to dental products like toothbrushes and dental flosses. We can only conclude that profit and cost are key factors in their product assortment decisions. After all, they have to run a business and they will stock items that generate the best profits. 

But as consumers, we can be proactive in making more educated choices that will lead to better health and to a more livable planet for future generations.

 

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