Tylenol, Benadryl, Dayquil, Midol and Excedrin, just to name a few commonly used over-the-counter (OTC) medicines containing acetaminophen, may soon be required to come with a cancer warning label. That’s of course only if the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), the state agency responsible for implementing Proposition 65 and compiling the list of substances that are supposed to cause cancer or reproductive harm, decides to list acetaminophen as a Prop 65 cancer causing substance. Acetaminophen is the key ingredient in more than 600 different prescription and OTC medications to treat fever, allergy, colds, flu, headaches and various other aches and pains.
Despite more than six decades of safe use by millions of people around the world and Federal Drug Administration monographs establishing the safety of many drugs containing acetaminophen, California may soon become the only jurisdiction in the world to warn consumers that drugs containing acetaminophen are known to the state of California to “cause cancer.” In other words, companies will need to provide a Prop 65 cancer warning on these OTC drugs or risk being sued. Whether people actually take the cancer warnings seriously is up for debate, but its exposure and potential repercussions are undeniably wide spread. An estimated fifty million Americans use medicines containing acetaminophen every week. Read More