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Colgate Total Toothpaste to Relaunch Without Controversial Chemical

  • Company to mark product with Super Bowl ads, live peformance
  • Triclosan, which raised health questions in soap, is left out
Colgate-Palmolive Co. Colgate Total brand toothpaste

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

With a launch party on Jan. 31 and a coming Super Bowl commercial, Colgate-Palmolive Co. is making a big splash for its new version of Colgate Total toothpaste. As part of the reformulation, the company is cutting a controversial ingredient that it’s stood by for years.

Colgate-Palmolive has already removed the substance -- triclosan -- from its soaps while keeping it in toothpaste, saying its use there is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and that it helps prevent gingivitis. Health advocates have cautioned against the chemical, and the FDA has itself said studies raise questions about triclosan’s potential links to cancer, effects on the thyroid, and role in making bacteria resistant to antibiotics.