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Denture cream may have poisoned Ferris man

Zinc caused nerve damage, says Gerald Elliott
An Ellis county preacher is on a mission to save lives as well as souls.
“I just want to warn everyone I can,” said Gerald Elliott, a Ferris evangelist and singer. “I want to get people to wake up to the issue and be advised that there’s danger.”
What danger? Denture creams with high zinc content, Elliot says.
Zinc poisoning from the denture adhesive Super PoliGrip, Elliott maintains, has caused him irreparable nerve damage. A user of the product for 40 years, Elliott is the second North Texas man to report being diagnosed with neuropathy due to zinc toxicity; J.D. Jackson went public with his ailment last year, and like Elliott, claims his condition is linked to use of Super PoliGrip. In addition, two lawsuits have lately been filed against GlaxoSmithKline, makers of PoliGrip, one of which has since been settled out of court.
With some 35 million Americans using denture creams, Elliott said he couldn’t just sit by. So he, too, has filed suit against GlaxoSmithKline.
“The lawsuit with GlaxoSmithKline should reveal the truth,” said Elliott, who is represented by attorney Bart Behr. “Once the courts agree, then the doors of justice will be open.”
Elliott says his zinc levels have returned to normal since he stopped using Super PoliGrip but the damage, he says, has been done.
Originally from San Angelo, the entertainer-turned-minister has lived in the Ferris/Palmer area for 25 years. Well-known to locals for his performances of gospel music at the Ennis Wal-Mart and the colorful sanctuary he used to maintain near his home along Hwy I-45, Elliott is no longer able to sing or preach.
In a recent interview televised by WFAA-News 8, Elliott was almost unable to walk around his house. He managed only by holding onto the walls.
"The problem with my feet is they’re almost totally dead," he said. "I [can] hardly feel."
Although GlaxoSmith Kline has denied its product is dangerous, it admitted in a statement that there is a “minimal” risk of zinc poisoning if the product isn’t “used as directed.”
Herein lies the trouble.
Dr. Charles Wakefield of the Baylor College of Dentistry said most people using adhesives have badly fitting dentures and need to use more of the product than is recommended. He added that a “well-controlled study” to determine the possibility of zinc poisoning through products like PoliGrip should be carried out.
While the U.S. Federal Food and Drug Administration stands by PoliGrip as a “low-risk device,” it also issued this statement: “The FDA reviews reports submitted to the agency and has authority to take immediate action, when warranted, to protect public health.”
Elliott said he’s not going after the company to make money or “punish them,” but to see to it that a warning about zinc poisoning is added to the Super PoliGrip label. Currently, Elliot said, the tube does not contain any information about possible toxicity. He also wants to warn other denture wearers of the danger of zinc poisoning and prevent their enduring the immobility he’s suffering now.
He said he won’t let up in his crusade, and hopes others who have been diagnosed with zinc poisoning will join him.
“I am looking for supporters,” Elliott said. “The more of us, the better the fight.”
Consumers experiencing problems with any product can report them to the FDA either by phone (800-FDA-1088), fax (800-FDA-0178) or on-line (www.fda.gov)
For more information about Elliott’s plans to pursue legal action against GlaxoSmithKline, call him at 972-449-3618 or email him at churchattexas2@peoplepc.com.

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Posted by on Jun 28 2007. Filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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