There is an almost humourous article circulating the major media outlets about floss "gumming up" the water system in Toronto. Here's the teaser quote from the Toronto Star:
... dental floss is wreaking havoc at several of Toronto's waste-water pumping stations and treatment plants. How?
The answer is simple: People are flushing it down the toilet.
Dental floss, especially newer brands, is shred-resistant, and when strands end up in waste-water, they bind with other waste, creating what one Toronto Water supervisor called a "snowball effect." Clumps are formed – one found last week was about the size of a softball – and they gum up impellers, which are part of the pumps in the city's sanitary pumping stations. Strands of floss wrap around the motors of the impellers – rotating devices that move the waste. When the motors don't have enough power to overcome the jam, they shut down.
I have to admit that I used to flush my floss, but I've now changed that practice. My new advice to patients and my own philosophy is: floss every day and throw it in the appropriate garbage system.
Hans Skariah, B.Sc., DMD
Promenade Court Dental Health Group in Mississauga
2233 Hurontario St., Mississauga, ON, Canada
(1/2 km north of the QEW in the Dome Building)