Our Policy on Ingredient Safety: Earning Your Confidence for Generations, Every Day
Every day, millions of families around the world show their confidence in Colgate-Palmolive. They trust our toothpaste and toothbrushes for their families, rely on our soaps and body washes to stay healthy and fresh, choose our cleaners to care for their homes, and feed our pet foods to the dogs and cats they love.
Colgate began earning this confidence more than 200 years ago by offering the highest quality products. And we know the trust we've earned over generations has to be earned anew every day.
Earning your trust begins with the ingredients we choose.
Committed to Safety and Science
All of the ingredients we use in our products are safe for people and the environment. They meet our strict safety standards and all applicable government regulations everywhere they are sold around the world.
The decisions we make on ingredients are based on a thorough evaluation of the latest scientific evidence. When we choose an ingredient — whether to contribute to the performance of a product or to keep it safe against microorganisms — it is first prescreened by a team of Colgate scientists. Every ingredient is assessed alone and within a formula to ensure that nothing unexpected will occur. Our ingredient review assesses not just what happens in our laboratories but across a range of real—world conditions — during manufacturing, in transportation, at the store, in consumers' homes, and after consumer use.
We continuously monitor and evaluate the safety of our ingredients and we actively engage with outside experts and resources to understand emerging science and deepen our knowledge. We seek the facts so that we can make the right decisions.
Listening to Consumers
We want consumers to continue to have confidence in our products and the ingredients we use. Our ingredient information is easily accessible in the Drug Facts labels of our toothpastes and mouthwashes and on the labels of many other products. In addition, all of our packages display our toll free Consumer Affairs number so consumers can get answers to ingredient questions. We listen to our consumers and the questions they raise about ingredients.
Where we see opportunities regarding ingredients that are raising consumer questions, we substitute with other safe ingredients that provide the same or better benefits without sacrificing quality. Through this ongoing effort, we no longer use, or are on our way to eliminating, some of the ingredients currently raising consumer questions. We're listening and formulating our products with our consumers in mind, to keep earning their confidence.
Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde Donors
While formaldehyde and formaldehyde donors are safe when used at approved regulatory levels, we recognize that consumers have questions. Colgate-Palmolive does not add formaldehyde to any of our products and is committed to eliminating formaldehyde donors from our formulations. Globally, we do not use formaldehyde donors as a preservative system in any of our Oral Care products and have eliminated their use in our Home Care products. By the end of 2017, we expect to eliminate their use as a preservative in a limited number of remaining Personal Care products in North America and Latin America.
Parabens are widely used preservatives, commonly found in foods, cosmetics and drug products. They are usually easy to identify by name, such as methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, or benzylparaben. Parabens inhibit the growth of bacteria and mold to maintain product integrity and protect consumer safety.
Parabens have been used for many years, reviewed by regulatory bodies around the world, and are considered safe. However, some consumers have questions about their safety. To maintain consumer confidence, we have reformulated our products using alternative, safe preservative systems and are no longer using parabens as of July 2016.
Phthalates are a group of organic compounds used in hundreds of products. They have been used safely for many years in personal care products, including to improve the performance of fragrances. Although there is no accepted scientific basis for avoiding phthalates, some consumers question their safety, so as of year-end 2014 we are no longer using this ingredient.
Triclosan is the antibacterial ingredient in Colgate Total toothpaste, where the proven therapeutic benefits it provides as part of our unique copolymer system are unsurpassed. Colgate Total is clinically proven to work better than other toothpastes to reduce the germs that can cause the gum disease gingivitis. In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recognized the effectiveness and safety of triclosan in Colgate Total toothpaste.
We remain strongly committed to Colgate Total, which is the only toothpaste that has undergone the FDA's rigorous New Drug Application process for safety and efficacy. It is supported by more than 90 clinical studies involving over 20,000 people, its clinically proven benefits are unsurpassed, and it is approved by regulators and recommended by the dental profession around the world.
Triclosan has been reviewed and approved as safe by regulators around the world, including by an expert European scientific committee that approved the use of triclosan in rinse-off cosmetic products following a full review of the scientific evidence. However, we recognize that some consumers have questions about triclosan and choose to avoid this ingredient in products where they believe it does not deliver a benefit to health. So while the use of triclosan continues to be permitted by regulators around the world, we have reformulated our antibacterial dish liquid and hand soaps with alternate active ingredients that provide the same or superior performance.
Colgate used microbeads in a limited number of oral care and personal care products to enhance aesthetics and aid in cleaning. However, some groups raised concerns regarding the potential contribution of microbeads to pollution of the world’s oceans. Recognizing that consumers have questions, as of year-end 2014 we are no longer using microbeads. More recently, consumer questions have extended beyond microbeads to some polymer-based materials, many of which dissolve in water and biodegrade. Colgate continues to monitor the science and evaluate our use of polymer-based ingredients to ensure continued improvements in the environmental profile of our products.
All exit dates represent the last date of manufacture.