Toxno Substance Profile
Evidence-based data. We have more than 25,000 profiles on Toxno.
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Substance Name

Phenol
Identification Number: CASRN | 108-95-2

  Substance Attributes


  • Carcinogenic Properties

    Accumulating evidence points to cancer potential. Exercise caution with this substance, explore your exposure routes and consider complete avoidance. See further details under Toxins.

  • Endocrine Disrupter

    Interferes with your hormones. Hormones are powerful messengers that can bind to DNA. You don't want to mess with them.

  • Mutagenic Properties

    Cause mutations to Genetic material like DNA, RNA or mitochondrial DNA

  • Reproductive Effects

    Interferes with fertility

  • Birth/Developmental

    Known to effect development of fetus.

  • Metabolic Interference or Disruption

    Interferes with human metabolism. This can be a very serious thing. Some of these interference mechanics are well established. However, often long term effects and health consequences remain largely unknown. Additionally an emerging area of concern and one that is not currently studied, is the combined synergistic effects these metabolically disrupting chemicals have on human health.


    Metabolic interference happens when the substance produces highly reactive and often damaging intermediates during detoxification or when the substance binds to specific enzymes, important structural groups on molecules, receptors and membranes or targets DNA or mimics key nutrients.

  • Exposure Produces Health Symptoms

    Symptoms maybe short term or long term depending on the exposure duration and intensity and effects areas like Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal, Cognition, Fatigue. A substance with this attribute may cause an allergic skin reaction, serious eye irritation, allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled.

  • Serious Acute Effects

    This is a serious nasty substance. Effects are Acute (seen immediately). Substances in this category may be FATAL or acutely toxic if inhaled, skin contact or swallowed. See further details.

  • Toxic to specific organs

    Can damage liver, kidney, lungs, heart or gut. Ironically liver, kidneys and gut are the main detoxifications systems.

  • Soluble in Water

    This substance easily dissolves in water. As such it can be easily transported via waterways. Not really a nastiness attribute, but this feature helps rapidly spread other nastiness attributes this substance may have.

  • Has known Side Effects

    This is often the result of long or short term medication use. The same medication can have a range of side effects ranging from none at all to totally debilitating symptoms within different individuals. Reasons for this include individual genetics, individual detoxification capacity, nutrition status, duration of use and total number of medications being taken.


    It becomes very difficult to establish clear causes of symptoms when multiple medications are being taken at once.


    See SIDE EFFECTS LINKOUT at end of this profile.

These attributes are ONLY based on peer-reviewed evidence. See link to Data Sources below. Everyone benefits from knowing this stuff. Please Share.



  • CATEGORIES: Pit Chemicals | Chemicals detected in flowback and produced water - collectively referred to as - hydraulic fracturing wastewater | Medication or Drug | Household Toxin | Industrial/Workplace Toxin | Pollutant | Airborne Pollutant | Food Toxin | Natural Toxin | Odor and Flavour | This Chemical is an Odorant and has a smell like - phenol | EAFUS (Everything Added to Food in the United States) | PESTICIDE active ingredient | Inert Pesticide Ingredient USA - Food Use Permitted | Pesticide approved in USA (California) | A Hazardous Substance that may be found in the Australian Workplace
  • SUBSTANCE LINEAGE: Organic Compounds | Benzenoids | Benzene and Substituted Derivatives | Phenols and Derivatives | Phenols and Derivatives
  • SYNONYMS: Anbesol | Benzenol | Benzophenol | Campho-phenique cold sore gel | Campho-phenique gel | Campho-phenique liquid | Carbolic acid | Carbolic acid liquid | Carbolic oil | Carbolsaeure | Carbolsaure | Cepastat lozenges | Fenol | Fenolo | Fenosmolin | Fenosmoline | Hydroxy-benzene | Hydroxybenzene | IPH | IZAL | Karbolsaeure | Liquid phenol | Liquified phenol | Monohydroxy benzene | Monohydroxybenzene | Monophenol | Oxybenzene | Paoscle | Phenic | Phenic acid | Phenic alcohol | Phenol alcohol | Phenol liquid | Phenolated water | Phenole | Phenosmolin | Phenyl alcohol | Phenyl hydroxide | Phenylic acid | Phenylic alcohol | PHOH | Synthetic phenol | Tea polyphenol
  • DESCRIPTION: Has been used in CSG, Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (Fracking) as - Fracturing | Phenol, is a toxic, colourless crystalline solid with a sweet tarry odor that resembles a hospital smell. It is commonly used as an antiseptic and disinfectant. It is active against a wide range of micro-organisms including some fungi and viruses, but is only slowly effective against spores. It has been used to disinfect skin and to relieve itching. Phenol is also used in the preparation of cosmetics including sunscreens, hair dyes, and skin lightening preparations. It is also used in the production of drugs (it is the starting material in the industrial production of aspirin), weedkillers, and synthetic resins. Phenol can be found in areas with high levels of motor traffic, therefore, people living in crowded urban areas are frequently exposed to traffic-derived phenol vapor. The average (mean +/- SD) phenol concentration in urine among normal individuals living in urban areas is 7.4 +/- 2.2 mg/g of creatinine. Exposure of the skin to concentrated phenol solutions causes chemical burns which may be severe; in laboratories where it is used, it is usually recommended that polyethylene glycol solution is kept available for washing off splashes. Notwithstanding the effects of concentrated solutions, it is also used in cosmetic surgery as an exfoliant, to remove layers of dead skin (Wikipedia). In some bacteria phenol can be directly synthesized from tyrosine via the enzyme tyrosine phenol-lyase [EC:4.1.99.2].
  • COMMENTS:

    From Safe Work Australia and the Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) in Australia:

    Suspected of causing genetic defects. Toxic if inhaled. Toxic in contact with skin. Toxic if swallowed. May cause damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure . Causes severe skin burns and eye damage | Chronic Health Hazard Acutely Toxic | A Hazardous Substance that may be found in the Australian Workplace. Check with your employer or health and safety officer. Stay informed and become aware of the dangers that surround you. This chemical is included on the list of recognised hazardous chemicals from the Safe Work Australia - Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) that is based on the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)

    Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations are the basis for hazardous chemicals regulations in Commonwealth, State and Territory jurisdictions in Australia. Under the model WHS Regulations, manufacturers and importers of substances, mixtures and articles supplied for use in workplaces are required to determine whether they are hazardous to health and safety before supply. The model WHS Regulations mandate that the hazards of a chemical as determined by the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) must be included in safety data sheets and on labels. There are transitional arrangements in place for moving to the GHS-based system.

    The GHS Hazardous Chemical Information List contains chemicals classified by an authoritative source (such as the European Commission or NICNAS) in accordance with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (the GHS). This list contains the vast majority of chemicals currently in HSIS. This list and its detail are regularly updated by Work Safe Australia. The model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations require chemicals to be classified in accordance with the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). However transitional arrangements allow use of classification information in HSIS derived from the Approved Criteria until the 31 December 2016.
  • toxin chemical structure pubchem
  • FORMULA: C6H6O
  • DATA SOURCES: DATA SOURCES: ARTICLE 4 | T3DB | PubChem | IARC | Article-Colborn-2010 | FracFocus | EPA in USA | US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES | Flavornet | EAFUS | DPR | EPA USA - Pesticide Inerts | Safe Work Australia - Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) | Drugbank | USA FDA APPROVED DRUG PRODUCTS
  • LAST UPDATE: 28/04/2018

  Health Associations

Mostly focused on Health Implications of Long Term Exposure to this substance

  • SYMPTOMS: Burning pain in mouth and throat; white necrotic lesions in mouth; abdominal pain, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, pallor, sweating, weakness, headache, dizziness, tinnitus can result from phenol poisoning. Phenol absorption can lead to weak irregular pulse, hypotension, shallow respirations, cyanosis, pallor, a profound fall in body temperature, muscle tremors, and difficulty walking. Possibly fleeting excitement and confusion, followed by unconsciousness. (T48, L624)
  • POSSIBLE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES: Long-term exposure to phenol at work has been associated with cardiovascular disease, irritation of the respiratory tract and muscle twitching depedning of the route of exposure. Ingestion of liquid products containing concentrated phenol can cause serious gastrointestinal damage and even death. Application of concentrated phenol to the skin can cause severe skin damage. Longer-term exposure to high levels of phenol caused damaged to the heart, kidneys, liver, and lungs. Liver effects, as judged by increased serum activities of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate amino transferase (AST), were also reported in a case of prolonged inhalation exposure to phenol. (L624) | When it is absorbed through the lungs, gut, or skin, phenol conjugated at the portal-of-entry and free phenol enter the bloodstream where it can then be distributed throughout the body. The dilution of phenol in water enhances the dermal absorption of phenol. Three different enzymes systems catalyze the reactions that transform phenol. Cytosolic phenol sulfotransferases catalyze the transfer of inorganic sulfur from the activated 3'-phosphoadenosine-5'phosphosulfate donor molecule to the hydroxyl group on phenol. Microsomal membrane-located uridine diphosphate (UDP) glucuronosyltransferases catalyze the transfer of an activated glucuronic acid molecule to the hydroxyl moiety of phenol to form an O-glucuronide conjugate. Cytochrome P4502E1, also microsomally located, catalyzes the hydroxylation of phenol to form hydroquinone (and to a much lesser extent, catechol), which is then acted upon by the phase II enzymes. Hydroquinone can, in turn, form conjugates, undergo peroxidation to form benzoquinone, or undergo further oxidation to form trihydroxybenzene. All three enzyme systems that metabolize phenol are found in multiple tissues and there is competition among them not only for phenol, but also for subsequent oxidative products, like hydroquinone. As a consequence, the relative amount of the products formed can vary based on species, dose and route of administration. Cytochromes other than CYP2E1, such as CYP2F2 are suggested to participate in the phenol metabolism in the liver. Tyrosinase also catalyzes the oxidation of phenols. The gastrointestinal tract, liver, lung, and kidney appear to be the major sites of phenol sulfate and glucuronide conjugation of simple phenols. Phenol, in its free and conjugated forms, is a normal constituent of human urine. (L624, A223, A225, A221, A224)
  • ACTION OF TOXIN: Phenol is irritating and corrosive at high concentrations. Phenol impairs the stratum corneum and produces coagulation necrosis by denaturing and precipitating proteins. It is suggested that dermal application of phenol increases the formation of free radicals in the skin, and that the redox cycling of these radicals reduces antioxidant capacity, leading to significant oxidative damage of protein, DNA, and lipids. Phenol also act as a cyclooxygenase inhibitor. (A227, L624) | Phenol acts as an effective, low micromolar inhibitor of isozyme hCAII. (A222)
  • TOXIN SITES OF ACTION IN CELL: "Cytoplasm", "Extracellular"
  • Additional Exposure Routes: Phenol is used to make plastics. Phenol is also used as a disinfectant in household cleaning products and in consumer products such as mouthwashes, gargles, throat sprays. Exposure may result from breathing air containing phenol and drinking contaminated water or eating food contaminated with phenol. Exposure also occurs through dermal contact with contaminated air or by skin contact with products containing phenol. Dermal contact can occur through the use of general disinfectants and ointments containing phenol. Ingestion can occur through the use of products such as throat lozenges or sore throat sprays that contain phenol. (L624)
  • SEE MEDICATION SIDE EFFECTS

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  Exposure Routes

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