Procter & Gamble Cautions on Zinc in FixodentMar 17, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP
Without much fanfare, Procter & Gamble has begun cautioning consumers about zinc in Fixodent denture creams on it Web site, http://www.dentureliving.com/. The new information states that some reports suggest that excessive and prolonged zinc intake may be linked to adverse health effects. Proctor & Gamble also began shipping Fixodent with updated label instructions on how to apply the product.
Excessive exposure to zinc in denture creams has been associated with neurological injuries in some users. The human body does need zinc – but only in small amounts. Studies show that consuming at least 50 milligrams of zinc a day for a few months could lead to copper deficiency, which can cause anemia, bone loss, nerve damage and other problems. Ingesting 80 or 100 milligrams or more for months or even years can lead to irreversible damage.
Last month, GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Super PoliGrip denture adhesives, announced it would stop the manufacture, distribution and advertising of Super PoliGrip products that contain zinc. The company said that the denture creams would be reformulated, with zinc-free varieties expected to go on the market later this spring.
So far, Procter & Gamble has not made a similar move. The new caution was only added to the Web site in recent days. At least one law firm representing plaintiffs in denture cream poisoning lawsuits said the new information doesn’t go far enough. In a statement, New York-based Parker Waichman LLP contended that that the lack of a clear warning combined with ambiguous instructions for use only serve to enhance the danger faced by consumers. The firm is continuing to call on Procter & Gamble to issue a full and immediate recall of all Fixodent products made with zinc.
“While any new caution regarding Fixodent is a step in the right direction, it does not go nearly far enough,” says Jerrold S. Parker , founding partner of Parker Waichman LLP. “Procter & Gamble’s attempt to do this quietly will leave too many consumers unaware of the danger that Fixodent could pose to their health. As long as these products continue to be sold, they remain a serious public health threat.”