California May Declare Common Pain Killer Acetaminophen a Carcinogen

Tylenol, which contains acetaminophen, is offered for sale at a drug store on April 14, 2015, in Chicago. (Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Tylenol, which contains acetaminophen, is offered for sale at a drug store on April 14, 2015, in Chicago. (Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

California is considering whether to label one of the United States’ most common drugs a carcinogen.

A panel of scientists is examining evidence of whether acetaminophen can cause cancer.

The drug is the basis for more than 600 prescription and over-the-counter medications including Tylenol, Excedrin and Sudafed.

A state law approved by voters in 1986 requires California to keep a list of chemicals known to cause cancer. Some studies reported an increased risk of some types of cancers, while others did not.

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association says acetaminophen has no risk for cancer at any dose level.

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