Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.


Back to List


Phenolphthalein, a Common Laxative, Linked to Ovarian and Other Cancers

woman looking at a vile containing pink liquid
(Photo courtesy of Alexey Rezvykh /

Experiments conducted by NIEHS researchers show that phenolphthalein, a widely used laxative, causes ovarian and other cancers in laboratory rats and mice.

Tags: cancer


Environmental Health Perspectives. 1996. Fear of phenolphthalein? Environ Health Perspect. 104(3):250. [PDF]

to Top