Shoppers Ditching Colgate Total Amid Triclosan Fears

Shoppers Ditching Colgate Total Amid Triclosan Fears

In this Jan. 26, 2011 photo, Colgate toothpaste and toothbrush are posed in Phoenix. (The Canadian Press/AP, Ross D. Franklin)
In this Jan. 26, 2011 photo, Colgate toothpaste and toothbrush are posed in Phoenix. (The Canadian Press/AP, Ross D. Franklin)

(Business Week) – Earlier this week, Angela Pollock ditched Colgate Total toothpaste after using it for about 15 years and bought Crest Pro-Health instead.

Pollock, a 57-year-old sociology teacher in Knoxville, Tennessee, had just learned that Colgate Total contained triclosan, an antibacterial chemical linked to cancer-cell growth and disrupted development in animals.

“If Colgate is that lax in putting this kind of chemical in their product, I don’t think I’ll buy other Colgate-Palmolive brands,” Pollock said.

Total is a tiny percentage of Colgate-Palmolive Co.’s sales, but it’s inextricably entwined with the Colgate brand so the triclosan controversy could inflict long-term damage, said Michael Stone, who runs Beanstalk, a New York-based brand-licensing agency owned by Omnicom Group Inc.

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