The concept of dental floss was first introduced in 1819 by Levi Spear Parmly, who recommended a waxed silk thread to remove food particles away from the teeth and gums. Dental floss was later patented by Johnson & Johnson in 1898 and it’s been a dental favorite ever since.
I’m a fan as too many people brush their teeth haphazardly and fail to adequately clean in between the teeth.
Now a study from the Silent Spring Institute and Public Health Institute in Berkeley, California, suggest that users may be exposing themselves to elevated levels of toxic chemicals known as perfluorocooctanesulfonic acids (PFA’s).
PFA’s are used in food packaging, commercial household products, industrial products and more. Animal studies have suggested their link to tumors such as testicular cancer, high cholesterol, liver and kidney dysfunction, and issues with one’s reproductive and immune system.
The EPA states the following:
The study was published in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. Authors tested 18 dental floss brands, including Oral-B Glide, and found higher levels of PFA’s (perfluorohexanesulfonic acid) in the test subjects (178 California-based middle-aged women) who used the waxed dental floss.
Study author Katie Boronow, states, “This is the first study to show that using dental floss containing PFAS is associated with a higher body burden of these toxic chemicals….The good news is, based on our findings; consumers can choose flosses that don’t contain PFAS.”
Most dental floss brands, however, do not report on their packaging if they contain PFA’s or not. Unwaxed versions may be PFA free.
However, many other daily habits can expose us to PFA’s such as eating fast food packaged in waxy coated cardboard containers.
So since good dental hygiene is paramount for health, I suggest speaking to your dentist about your flossing habits and consider also using a water pick as it can be very effective at removing food particles and bacteria from one’s teeth and gums.
Estrogen can be dangerous stuff. Sure, it’s an important hormone responsible for the development of the fetus in the womb, the growth of connective tissue and the development of female sexual characteristics, and it’s the most ancient of all of our hormones (it’s been around for 450 million years). But it’s also associated with a wide range of health problems including fibroids, weight gain and cancers. It is pro-inflammatory, it initiates the production of stress chemicals, and it’s linked to various cancers, including breast, uterine, colon and prostate.
Even worse, there are certain chemicals, natural and synthetic that, while not exactly estrogen, can act like it, throwing off the delicate balance of the body’s endogenous hormones. These so called ‘estrogen mimics’ or non-biological estrogen-like substances called xeno-estrogens (xeno meaning “foreign”) include birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and fertilizers and pesticides, all of which have estrogen or estrogen-like activity and whose levels have increased dramatically in our environment over the last 60 or 70 years.
One of the most significant causes of xeno-estrogen exposure occurs through foods. Over the past 60 or so years the FDA has approved xeno-estrogenic substances for use in livestock. That’s because estrogen is a growth substance and is used to fatten farm animals. It increases the animals’ growth rate and the efficiency by which they convert the feed they eat into muscle.
Traditionally this has typically been a problem associated with livestock such as cattle and poultry. Recently, however, a new source of xeno-estrogens in food has entered the marketplace: farmed fish. These fish are not only exposed to the hormone via toxic water, which has been saturated with the potent biochemical from agricultural runoff, but they have also been intentionally dosed with the hormone. For years, this chemical manipulation was restricted to countries in Asia know for their lax regulations. However, in the past few years even European and Scandinavian countries have become participants in the chemical control of aquaculture.
One of the main reasons for this hormonal manipulation is deliberate gender reversal; scientists are intentionally turning male fish into females by dosing them with estrogen. This practice, which scientists call “Controlled Reproductive Biotechnology,” is a common practice because in certain species, one gender or another tends to be larger. According to foodforbreastcancer.com, tilapia and halibut are especially subjected to this kind of hormonal treatment.
Animal waste is also a significant source of xeno-estrogen. Animal waste may contribute an estimated 90 percent of total estrogen in the environment. Five gallons of runoff water contaminated with chicken manure may contain a birth control pill’s worth of estrogen.
Estrogen levels in poultry litter are so high that when farmers feed chicken manure to their animals to save on feed costs, it may trigger premature development. Poultry manure is among the highest hormone content, quadruple the total estrogen, and nine times more 17-beta estradiol, the most potent estrogen and a “complete” carcinogen, as it exerts both tumor initiating and tumor promoting effects.
If you’re concerned about exposure to xeno-estrogens here are five ways to reduce toxicity:
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