H 97° L 69°
  • clear-night
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 97° L 69°
  • clear-day
    Sunny. H 97° L 69°
  • cloudy-day
    Partly Cloudy. H 97° L 76°

The latest newscast

00:00 | 00:00


The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00


The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Dental floss dangers: New study addresses potential harms of flossing

Dental floss dangers: New study addresses potential harms of flossing

New Study Explores Potential Harms of Flossing

Dental floss dangers: New study addresses potential harms of flossing

The American Dental Association recommends daily between-teeth cleaning using floss or another interdental cleaner may help prevent cavities and gum disease. But a new study suggests certain types of floss and other behaviors may actually increase the amount of toxic chemicals in the body.

>> Read more trending news

The research, published this week in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, comes from the Silent Spring Institute in collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley’s Public Health Institute. For the study, scientists examined the blood samples of 178 California-based middle-aged women and measured 11 different per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (or PFAS) chemicals previously linked to a various health implications, from testicular cancer and thyroid disease to decreased fertility and high cholesterol.

The participants, half of whom were white or African-American, are part of the university’s child health and development studies, a multigenerational analysis of environmental chemicals on disease.

>> Experts question fluoride-free toothpaste; study says ‘natural’ brands don’t prevent cavities

To understand behavioral changes, the researchers compared blood measurements with interviews with the women in which they were asked about nine behaviors that may lead to higher PFAS exposures, according to a news release. They also tested the presence of chemical markers of PFAS in six different dental flosses.

“In addition to specialized industrial applications and use in fire-fighting foams, PFASs are frequently used in consumer products,” according to the research. “Most commonly, they are used in nonstick and water-, stain-, or grease-resistant coatings, which are applied to a diverse range of products, including food packaging, cookware, carpet, furniture, textiles, and outdoor performance gear.” PFAS tend to be detected in water, soil and in American bodies thanks to their “extensive use and persistent nature.”

>> 5 things you're doing 'for your health' that aren't so healthy 

The findings 

According to the study, women who flossed with a particular dental floss — Oral-B Glide — had higher levels of the PFAS perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS) compared to women who did not. The National Institutes of Health notes PFHxS has been previously linked to high cholesterol and altered thyroid function.

To further analyze the finding, researchers tested for fluorine (a PFAS chemical marker) in 18 different flosses using a technique called particle-induced gamma-ray emission spectroscopy.

>> If you've been flossing regularly, the feds say you can stop

When they did so, the three Glide products examined tested positive. Two similar store-brand products marketed as comparable to Oral-B Glide, plus another marketed with “single strand Teflon fiber” also tested positive for fluorine.

Previous reports have highlighted Glide’s use of Teflon-like compounds. Teflon is the brand name of PFAS polytetrafluoroethylene, which the Environmental Working Group has warned against using via dental floss due to risks of cancers, hormone disruption, brain and liver problems, as well as low birth weights.

This is the first study to find “evidence that flossing with PTFE-based dental floss could contribute to an individual’s body burden of PFASs, but additional data are required to verify this finding,” researchers wrote.

The lesson: Avoid dental floss with PFAS, lead author Katie Boronow said in a statement.

>> Drinking this type of tea could ruin your teeth, study says

In addition to the floss findings, researchers noticed higher PFAS levels when participants: 

  • Had stain-resistant carpet or furniture.
  • Lived in a city with a PFAS-contaminated drinking water supply.
  • Ate food prepared in coated cardboard containers (African-American women in particular).

Authors also noted that in this particular study, African-Americans ate french fries more often than non-Hispanic whites, “so we infer that they may also consume more fast food such as hamburgers, which are sold in paper wrappers.” Fluorinated chemicals are frequently detected in fast food packaging.

>> On AJC.com: Heavy drinking may increase 'bad' bacteria in your mouth, study finds

A potential limitation, according to the study, is that there are other behaviors that may contribute to PFAS exposure the researchers didn’t measure. This is why any racial differences regarding PFAS chemicals were left unexplained. Another limitation: the number and location of participants. But authors report figures were comparable with a nationally representative sample.

Future work should dive into Hispanic and Asian-Americans as race differences may help identify “major exposure pathways,” according to the study.

Though PFSA environmental contamination via drinking water, for example, is considered a major public health threat most consumers can’t do much about, “this study strengthens the evidence that consumer products are [also] an important source of PFAS exposure,” Boronow saida. “Restricting these chemicals from products should be a priority to reduce levels in people's bodies.”

Read the full study at nature.com.

Read More

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • A 93-year-old woman in the United Kingdom was “arrested” Saturday after police in Greater Manchester found out that it was one of her wishes as her health begins to fade.  The Guardian reported that the gesture from police officers came to light after Josie Birds’ granddaughter, Pam Smith, tweeted a thank-you to the officers involved.  “A big thank you to @gmpolice for ‘arresting’ my Gran Josie today,” Smith tweeted. “She is 93 years old and her health is failing, and she wanted to be arrested for something before it’s too late.” Photos accompanying the tweet show an obviously delighted Birds being handcuffed and transported to the station in the back of a vehicle. Another photo shows her sitting at a table in what looks like an interrogation room.  >> Read more trending news Smith later tweeted that her grandmother had never done anything bad.  “She thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing and they even gave her tea and cake afterwards,” she wrote.  Smith’s initial tweet was retweeted hundreds of times as of Tuesday afternoon, and thousands of people liked it. A representative of the Greater Manchester police force also responded to Smith’s message.  “I’m glad our officers could help out. (It) looks like she got the full experience!” the response read. “Give our best to Josie and I’ll try and pass your message back to the officers who kindly helped out.” Smith wrote in the thread of comments that followed the tweet that her grandmother is well-known in her community, many members of which were on hand with their cellphones to grab shots of the elderly woman in cuffs. “(She) has never put a foot wrong all her life,” Smith wrote. “She is quite poorly now and wanted to do something ‘naughty’ while she still has the strength to enjoy it. This has definitely put a (big) smile on her face.” The commenters on Smith’s tweet enjoyed the photos nearly as much as Birds’ family did. One person wrote that he was “glad to see this menace taken off the streets,” before sending his love to Birds and her family. One woman wrote, “Kinda wish she’d actually gone out and done something illegal.” Another woman tagged a loved one and told them, “This is what I want for my birthday.” A man wrote that the photo of Birds being taken into custody was “brilliant” because it looked “like she is going down for something big.” “Bloody nonagenarians causing trouble,” another man wrote. “Bring back national service.” “Can’t believe she’s never been arrested before,” another Twitter user wrote. “She looks like a wrong ‘un.” Smith wrote that she was “gobsmacked” over the international attention her grandmother is receiving. “I’ve been passing on everyone’s good wishes to her, and she is thrilled,” Smith wrote. “She didn’t expect this level of response and, to be honest, neither did I!”
  • About a week after Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ resignation, first lady Melania Trump has announced that her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, will be the White House press secretary. In her announcement of the news on Twitter, Trump also said that Grisham will also take an additional role as White House communications director. The New York Times reported that that position has been vacant since Bill Shrine left the post in March. CNBC reported that it is not clear if she will be leading communications for President Donald Trump and Melania Trump at once. >> Read more trending news  Here are three things to know about Grisham: She’s been with Trump’s team the longest of most in the White House Along with Trump’s social media director and assistant Dan Scavino, Grisham has been with the Trumps since the 2015 campaign. Her first official press secretary duties will start with a trip with the president to  the G20 in Osaka, Japan, then to Seoul. She’s critical of the media for its coverage of Melania Trump’s fashion instead of her work In 2018, Grisham wrote an op-ed on CNN in which she criticized the network’s coverage of the first lady. Much of her issue was with the focus of the media, like The New York Times and Vanity Fair. “Reports focus on the trivial and superficial, rather than the deeper issues facing our country that the she has tirelessly worked to address,” she wrote. “Last year, when Mrs. Trump traveled to Texas to comfort and support the people affected by hurricanes, the media focused on the pair of heels she wore to board Air Force One.” Related: Stephanie Grisham named White House press secretary Days before publishing the op-ed, Grisham addressed Trump’s controversial “I really don’t care. Do u?” coat, which she wore June 21, 2018, while visiting migrant children in Texas. “Today’s visit w the children in Texas impacted FLOTUS greatly,” Grisham tweeted. “If media would spend their time & energy on her actions & efforts to help kids - rather than speculate & focus on her wardrobe - we could get so much accomplished on behalf of children.” Although Grisham also said there was “no hidden message” in the jacket, Melania Trump said in an October 2018 ABC News interview that the coat was meant as a statement to the left-wing media that criticized her. She’s defended Melania Trump against Donald Trump’s first wife, Ivana Trump When Ivana Trump, Donald Trump’s first wife, referred to herself as the first lady and said she has a “direct number” to the White House while promoting her memoir, “Raising Trump,” Grisham issued a statement calling her remarks “noise.” “Mrs. Trump has made the White House a home for Barron and the President. She loves living in Washington, DC, and is honored by her role as first lady of the United States,” Grisham said in the statement. “She plans to use her title and role to help children, not sell books. There is clearly no substance to this statement from an ex, this is unfortunately only attention-seeking and self-serving noise.”
  • A month after Connecticut mother of five Jennifer Dulos vanished from her home, her estranged husband’s lawyer is presenting a novel theory about her disappearance.  Defense attorney Norm Pattis has released a statement in which he suggested Dulos, 50, of New Canaan, may have staged her death in an attempt to frame her husband for murder, as the supposed victim did in the best-selling Gillian Flynn novel “Gone Girl.” The 2014 movie based on the book, starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, earned more than $368 million worldwide.  >> Read more trending news Monday marked a month since Jennifer Dulos was last seen alive. Fotis Dulos, 51, and his girlfriend, Michelle Trononis, 44, both of Farmington, have been charged with tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution in Jennifer Dulos’ disappearance. Both are free on bail of $500,000 each.  The pair are accused of getting rid of several items, including clothing and cleaning supplies, stained with Jennifer Dulos’ blood. According to the Hartford Courant, a mixture of blood from both Jennifer and Fotis Dulos was also found on Jennifer Dulos’ kitchen faucet.  Jennifer Dulos, who filed for divorce in 2017, and her estranged husband were in the middle of a contentious custody battle over the couple’s children, who range in age from 8 to 13. Jennifer Dulos claimed in family court documents that Fotis Dulos was verbally abusive, and she said she feared he might try to abscond with the children to his native Greece.  >> Related story: Bloody clothes, camera footage leave trail of evidence in case of missing mom of 5 NBC Connecticut reported that Pattis’ statement brought to light a novel Jennifer Dulos wrote years ago. Her family pointed out Monday, however, that the novel’s manuscript was completed in 2002, before Jennifer and Fotis Dulos met.  “Gone Girl” was published a decade later, in 2012.  “We have been provided a very dark 500-plus page novel Jennifer wrote. We are reviewing it now,” Pattis said in his statement. “We are also investigating new information regarding $14,000 worth of medical bills re tests just before she disappeared. We don’t know what had become of Jennifer, but the ‘Gone Girl’ hypothesis is very much on our mind.” Pattis, who also represents conspiracy theorist and “Infowars” host Alex Jones, admitted to the New York Post over the weekend that he had yet to read the manuscript himself. He also alleged -- without providing documentation or other evidence to the Post -- that Jennifer Dulos had a “troubled past” in which she struggled with drug addiction.  “From our perspective, this is a perfect storm: a mysterious illness we don’t know about, a history of substance abuse and a history of having disappeared,” Pattis told the Post.  A spokesperson for Jennifer Dulos’ family, who the Post said laughed off Pattis’ allegations about drug use, on Monday released the family’s response to Pattis’ hypothesis on the missing woman’s fate, the NBC affiliate reported.  “Trying to tie Jennifer’s absence to a book she wrote more than 17 years ago makes no sense. Evidence shows that Jennifer was the victim of a violent attack in her New Canaan home,” Monday’s statement through family spokeswoman Carrie Luft read.  Luft said she read Jennifer Dulos’ book in installments as she wrote it, and that the novel had nothing in common with Flynn’s psychological thriller. She said her friend’s book was a story that followed its protagonist through relationships and self-discovery.  “Like all of Jennifer’s writing, it expresses a deep longing for human connection and the need to be accepted as one’s true self,” the statement read.  Luft said the “false and irresponsible allegations” about Jennifer Dulos harm the missing woman’s loved ones, particularly her children. “As of today, she has been missing for a month,” she wrote. “This is not fiction or a movie. This is real life, as experienced every single day by Jennifer’s five young children, her family and her friends.” Missed appointments and a blood-stained garage Jennifer Dulos, who was last seen alive when she dropped her children off at school the morning of May 24, was reported missing by friends after she failed to turn up for several doctors’ appointments that day in New York City.  New Canaan police officers went to her home, located on a cul-de-sac in the affluent town of New Canaan, about 15 miles outside of Greenwich, around 7 p.m. that night but found no one there. A state police detective wrote in arrest warrants for Fotis Dulos and Troconis that the family’s nanny let officers into the house. Investigators found stains consistent with blood on the floor of the garage and on a vehicle parked in the space. Suspected blood spatter was found inside the house, the warrants say.  A search was launched around Jennifer Dulos’ home on Welles Lane and, a short time later, her Chevy Suburban was found parked along Merritt Parkway, on the perimeter of nearby Wavenly Park.  “A check of the vehicle and subsequent exhaustive searches of Wavenly Park using (New Canaan Police Department) and Connecticut State Police personnel and canines did not locate Jennifer,” the arrest warrant for her husband states.  Meanwhile at Jennifer Dulos’ home, investigators found evidence that someone tried to clean up the blood at the scene, the warrant states.  “Based upon the crime scene processing, investigators came to the consensus that a serious physical assault had occurred at the scene and Jennifer Dulos was the suspected victim,” the document says.  A search of vehicle records showed multiple vehicles registered to the Fore Group LLC, a company owned by Fotis Dulos. One such vehicle was a 2014 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor pickup truck.  Fotis Dulos, with whom Jennifer Dulos has been embroiled in a divorce and custody battle, lives with Troconis in Farmington, the warrant states. Both have been uncooperative with the investigation into Jennifer Dulos’ disappearance, investigators said.  New Canaan investigators met briefly with Fotis Dulos the day after his estranged wife vanished. At that time, they seized his iPhone, for which they had obtained a warrant to conduct a forensic search.  Fotis Dulos’ cellphone records showed that around 1:30 p.m. the day Jennifer Dulos disappeared, her estranged husband left his home and drove about 2 miles to a Farmington property belonging to his company. After a couple of hours, his cellphone showed he returned home.  Fotis Dulos returned to the company property around 5:20 p.m., about 90 minutes before officers first showed up at Jennifer Dulos’ home. The cellphone returned to his and Troconis’ home a few minutes later, and then records show it traveled to the area of Albany Avenue in Hartford, where most of the evidence against the couple was found.  Troconis’ cellphone also traveled to Hartford, the arrest warrants state.  “Investigators obtained surveillance footage from the Hartford Police Department Capital City Command Center (C4), which operates surveillance cameras at various Hartford locations, including the Albany Avenue area,” one of the warrants states. “C4 documented a black Ford Raptor pickup truck stopping at over 30 locations along a more than 4 mile stretch of Albany Avenue between Biltmore and Edward streets.” Still images from the surveillance footage showed the Raptor truck matched the one belonging to Fotis Dulos, including a sticker on the rear window and a light-colored mark on the black truck’s front bumper. The front license plate of the vehicle also matched that of his truck. A man matching Fotis Dulos’ description was seen getting out of the truck and dumping multiple trash bags into trash bins along the route, as well as tossing something into a storm drain.  “In some cases, the C4 video showed items being discarded which appeared to be stained with a substance consistent with the appearance of blood,” the arrest warrant states.  A woman matching Troconis’ description was seen leaning out of the passenger seat of the truck in one video clip, the document says.  When investigators checked the storm drain, they found a FedEx box containing license plates that were traced back to a 2007 Suburban belonging to Fotis Dulos, the warrant states. The plates had been altered to change the tag number, authorities said.  Inside the trash bins where the driver of the Raptor discarded the bags, detectives found clothing and at least one kitchen sponge, among other items, that were stained with blood.  “On (Saturday), items submitted to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Forensic Laboratory were tested and found to contain Jennifer Dulos’ blood,” the arrest warrant says.  Fotis Dulos’ cellphone records indicated he left the Hartford area around 7:40 p.m. the night his wife was reported missing and returned to his home in Farmington, the document states. In surveillance footage from outside his neighbors’ homes, he is seen checking his mail as he arrived.  He was wearing clothing similar to that seen on the man who dumped the evidence in Hartford, the document says.  Fotis Dulos and Troconis were arrested June 1 at a hotel in Avon, the New York Times reported.  The Courant reported earlier this month that investigators do not believe Troconis was in New Canaan the day Jennifer Dulos vanished. Pattis said during a court appearance that Fotis Dulos could account for his whereabouts during the time frame in which investigators believe Jennifer Dulos was attacked in her home.  She dropped her children off at school around 8 a.m. the morning of May 24, the newspaper reported. A cleaning woman who entered the home around noon that day found no one there.  Jennifer Dulos missed appointments at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., the paper reported. Her cellphone and credit cards have not been used since she vanished.  Authorities are also looking into details involving an employee of Fotis Dulos’ Fore Group who was in New Canaan on May 24 -- and was driving the black Ford Raptor belonging to the company, the newspaper said.  Though the man is reported to have been driving the Raptor when Jennifer Dulos vanished, he returned the vehicle to Fotis Dulos sometime between 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., in time for Dulos to have been driving the truck when the evidence in the case was discarded in Hartford, the newspaper reported.  Investigators have seized the employee’s truck, computer and cellphone as part of the probe into Jennifer Dulos’ disappearance. His attorney told the Courant her client is not a suspect and is cooperating fully with detectives in the case.  No trace of Jennifer Dulos has been found, despite a search that has spanned two states and four separate communities, the newspaper reported. Investigators have also searched a Hartford trash facility for any evidence related to the woman’s disappearance. 
  • First lady Melania Trump announced Tuesday that her director of communications, Stephanie Grisham, has been named as the new White House press secretary. >> Read more trending news  'I can think of no better person to serve the Administration & our country,' Trump said in a statement posted on Twitter. The first lady said Grisham will also serve as White House director of communications, a position that's been vacant since former Fox News executive Bill Shine left the role in March. Grisham will replace the current press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders. President Donald Trump announced two weeks ago that Sanders, plans to step down at the end of June. '(Grisham) will be an incredible asset to the President and the country,' Sanders said in a statement posted on Twitter. 'I’m sad to leave the WH, but so happy our team will be in such great hands. Stephanie will do a phenomenal job.' Axios reported President Trump wanted Grisham in the position and that he's said he likes and trusts her. The news site noted she's one of the few officials who has been with President Trump since his campaign. She will continue to serve as the first lady's spokeswoman as well, CNN reported. Grisham will become the fourth woman to serve as White House press secretary. Before serving as the first lady's spokeswoman, Grisham worked under Trump's first press secretary, Sean Spicer, The Washington Post reported. She also previously worked on Republican Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign, according to the newspaper. “During the campaign, she developed a good relationship with the president, and that’s carried through,” Sanders said of Grisham in an interview late last year, according to the Post. “She has developed a great amount of trust from both the president and the first lady, which is a pretty high commodity here. There aren’t a lot of people who have a lot of regular interaction with both of them.”
  • A death investigation is underway in Seminole County after deputies said a man's body was found in a pond in front of the county’s courthouse Tuesday morning. Deputies said the pond is along U.S. Highway 17-92 in front of the Seminole County courthouse. The department tweeted about the incident just before 10:30 a.m. The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office said daily courthouse operations are not being impacted as the investigation continues.

Washington Insider

  • On the eve of the first major gathering of Democratic Party candidates in the 2020 race for President, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) drew over a thousand interested Democrats to a town hall gathering at Florida International University on Monday, pressing the case for the federal government to do more to help working Americans find economic security in the future. 'I don't want a government that works for big corporations, I want one that works for families,' Warren said to applause, making the case for a higher minimum wage for workers, major ethics reforms for government officials, voting reforms, major tax changes, and more. 'Let's start with a wealth tax in America,' said Sanders, as she called for 'big structural change in this country,' rattling off a number of her policy ideas, getting big cheers for new limits on lobbying, action on climate change, and better wages for all workers. “A full time minimum wage job in America will not get a momma and a baby out of poverty,” Warren said.  “That is wrong, and that is why I am in this fight.” Of the ten Democrats on the debate stage Wednesday night, Warren is by far the strongest candidate in the first group, as she has been gaining momentum in recent weeks in a variety of polls. The four other top Democrats in the race will be on stage together on Thursday - Biden, Buttigieg, Harris and Sanders. Along with Warren, two other Democrats attracted press attention in south Florida before the Wednesday debate, as Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington State talked about his signature issue of climate change, and ex-Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas rallied with teachers in Miami. 'It's a great opportunity for me to listen to you, to have the chance to introduce myself,' said O'Rourke, who is one of the better known names on the first night of the Democratic debate. The first debate night in Miami features three Democratic Senators (Booker, Klobuchar, Warren), two House members (Gabbard, Ryan), two former House members (Delaney, O'Rourke), one current mayor (DeBlasio), one former mayor and Cabinet member (Castro), and one Governor (Inslee). While some like Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) arrived in Florida on Tuesday afternoon - getting unsolicited advice along the way from fellow passengers on her flight to Miami - Inslee was for a second day hammering away at his main issue of climate change. 'Today we're announcing a new freedom in America, and that's freedom from fossil fuels,' Inslee said at an event in the Everglades. Inslee followed up his Everglades visit with a Tuesday evening event where he took shots at Big Oil. For most of the Democrats over the next two nights, there is a simple game plan.  'Our goal,' a memo to reporters from Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said, 'Introduce Cory to Democrats tuning in for the first time,' noting that when you do the math, each candidate is only going to get between seven and eleven minutes of total speaking time. 'I can’t wait to share with you my vision for a more just and fair nation,' Booker said. But on Tuesday evening, Booker was doing more mundane things - helping people put their bags in the overhead bin on his flight to Miami.