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Great News for Future Denture Users

Glaxo SmithKline, makers of the Poligrip line of denture adhesives, announced on February 18, 2010, that they would stop producing and selling their Poligrip products which contain zinc. They apparently plan to change their formulas to zinc-free versions, and will begin marketing those products with zinc-free labeling.

While I was very happy to find this press release, I am angry to hear that they are not voluntarily recalling the zinc-containing products here in the United states. In Japan, they have already announced a voluntary recall as of March 4th. Why, then, would they choose to allow the current, zinc-containing formula to remain on the market in the United States? This baffles me, as there were only three documented reports of adverse effects from use of Poligrip EX (the name under which it is marketed in Japan), while there are hundreds of consumers in the U.S. making these same complaints.

I view this as an overall positive, especially for people who do not yet, but will someday, need dentures. Hopefully this also comes soon enough to prevent the horrible effects of zinc poisoning and copper deficiency in relatively new denture users. Still, I find it appalling that it takes huge class-action lawsuits and massive public pressure to bring about the sort of change that should happen immediately and voluntarily when a company learns that its products are poisoning people.

The fact that they intend to continue selling the zinc-containing products until their supply is depleted is equally heinous. Their press release states that “it is important for consumers to know that these products remain safe to use as directed on the product label.” I am here to tell you otherwise! While the people in the University of Texas study used an average of two tubes of denture adhesive every week (which would definitely not be considered use according to product labeling), their effects were merely accelerated by this use. My mother was an excellent case study of how long-term use, according to product labeling, can produce the exact same detrimental effects. I know she was not over-using denture cream; I was the one who bought it for her! And yet she still suffered the debilitating effects of anemia and neuropathy for years.

…but to get back on topic…

What can a person do if they want to stop slowly poisoning themselves with zinc NOW? My recommendation is to purchase products from responsible companies who have avoided poisoning their customers from day one. Products like Effergrip, Secure by DenTek and Cushion Grip are already zinc-free, and are available today. Also, be sure to consult your doctor for testing; your zinc poisoning and/or copper deficiency can be treated!

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