The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it has removed common artificial sweetener saccharin, long believed to be a potential cancer-causing substance, from its list of hazardous substances.

Saccharin, an artificial sweetener found in diet drinks and chewing gum, is no longer considered a potential hazard to human health, it said.

Saccharin, which is 300 times sweeter than sucrose or sugar, can also be found in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Saccharin was labeled a potentially cancer-causing substance in the 1980s.

Human epidemiology studies - studies of patterns, causes, and control of diseases in groups of people - have shown no consistent evidence that saccharin is associated with bladder cancer incidence, the National Cancer Institute said.

In the late 1990s, the National Toxicology Program and the International Agency for Research on Cancer re-evaluated the available scientific information on saccharin and its salts and concluded that it is not a potential human carcinogen - a substance known to cause cancer.

Because the scientific basis for remaining on EPA’s lists no longer applied, the agency said it proposed the removal of saccharin and its salts from the lists on April 22, 2010 and did not receive any comments opposing the proposal.