Packages of Super PoliGrip now include an insert informing users that the popular denture cream contains zinc, and warning that using excessive amounts may cause health problems.
Dozens of lawsuits have been filed against the makers of Super PoliGrip and other zinc-containing denture creams by people who claim they sustained neurological injuries from the products. A small amount of zinc is necessary for a balanced diet. However, being exposed to an excessive amount of zinc can result in copper depletion – a condition known as hypocupremia – and serious negative adverse neurological effects.
In August 2008, the peer reviewed journal “Neurology” reported on four patients suffering from neuropathy and other neurological symptoms typical of zinc poisoning and copper depletion. Normal blood levels of copper range from 0.75 to 1.45 micrograms per milliliter (mL), but levels for the patients in the report ranged from less than 0.1 to 0.23 micrograms per mL. The top normal number for zinc blood levels is 1.10 micrograms per mL, but patients had levels ranging from 1.36 to 4.28 micrograms per mL. The article specifically linked excess zinc in Super PoliGrip to “profound neurologic disease” in the patients reviewed.
Until now, the packaging of Super PoliGrip made no mention of the zinc contained in the product, or the potential health problems associated with it. The new insert in Super PoliGrip packages now advises that the product contains zinc, and cautions users to talk with their doctor if they use zinc supplements. It warns that using excessive amounts of the adhesive over a long-period of time could result in “serious health effects”.
The insert also includes directions for using Super PoliGrip, as well as diagrams and an illustration of the “proper” amount that should be used. The directions tell users that Super PoliGrip should only be used once a day, and that a tube of Super PoliGrip should last several weeks, depending on size. The insert also reassures users that swallowing small amounts of Super PoliGrip can occur, and is not harmful.
Denture cream lawsuits claim the manufacturers Super PoliGrip and similar products did not adequately warn users about the risks posed by zinc in the products. About 30 such lawsuits have been consolidated for centralized and coordinated pre-trial proceedings in the Denture Cream Products Liability Litigation in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division, before the Honorable Judge Cecilia Altonaga (MDL No. 2051).