Johnny Howell: Toxic Substances in Everyday Products

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March 29, 2010. Winston Salem, North Carolina.. After 14 years of using Poligrip denture cream to keep his teeth in place, Johnny Howell became disabled due to nerve damage from high zinc levels that may have been caused by the cream. His nerve damage is so severe that Mr. Howell had to quit his job as a mechanic and must now use a cane or walker to get around his house, which he rarely leaves, and only with assistance.. Mr. Howell uses 2 canes or a walker when he leaves the house, which is rare. He started a knife sales company, but has been unable to go sell them as his disability keeps him homebound.