Toxin Profiles

Substance Name

4-Aminophenol
Identification Number: CASRN | 123-30-8

  Nastiness Attributes


  • 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.

  • Toxic to Wildlife

    May kill plants, fish, birds or other animals and insects or may be very toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects. This then effects delicate environmental ecology and food supply in ways we don't fully understand yet.


  • CATEGORIES: Household Toxin | Food Toxin | Synthetic Toxin | A Hazardous Substance that may be found in the Australian Workplace
  • SUBSTANCE LINEAGE: Organic Compounds | Benzenoids | Benzene and Substituted Derivatives | Phenols and Derivatives | Aminophenol Derivatives
  • SYNONYMS: 1-Amino-4-hydroxybenzene | 4-Amino-1-hydroxybenzene | 4-Aminobenzenol | 4-Hydroxyaniline | Activol | Aminophenol | Energol | Fouramine P | p-Aminophenol | p-Hydroxyaniline | p-Hydroxyphenylamine | Paramidophenol | Paranol
  • DESCRIPTION: 4-Aminophenol is an amphoteric molecule and a reducing agent. Aminophenols are intermediates in the synthesis of dyes and can thus be found in numerous cosmetics products, particularly hair dyes. 4-aminophenol is considered a minor nephrotoxic metabolite of phenacetin and acetaminophen (paracetamol) in man. 4-Aminophenol can undergo autoxidations and metal-catalyzed and enzymatic oxidations in man to produce reactive oxygen species. (A7848) (L1882)
  • COMMENTS: From Safe Work Australia and the Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS) in Australia: Suspected of causing genetic defects. Harmful if inhaled. Harmful if swallowed. Very toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects | Chronic Health Hazard Environmental Hazard General Health Hazard | 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: C6H7NO
  • DATA SOURCES: DATA SOURCES: ARTICLE 4 | T3DB | PubChem | Safe Work Australia - Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS)
  • LAST UPDATE: 21/04/2015

  Health Associations

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

  • SYMPTOMS: 4-Aminophenol may cause contact dermatitis. Signs and symptoms of methemoglobinemia may include shortness of breath, cyanosis, mental status changes, headache, fatigue, exercise intolerance, dizziness and loss of consciousness. Severe methemoglobinemia can result in dysrhythmias, seizures, coma, and death. (T21, L1613)
  • POSSIBLE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES: 4-Aminophenol may act as a skin sensitizer and cause contact dermatitis. In addition, inhalation of large amounts can cause methemoglobinemia and bronchial asthma. (T21) |
  • ACTION OF TOXIN: 4-Aminobiphenyl requires metabolic activation in order to exert its toxicity. This is catalyzed by N-hydroxylation via cytochrome P450 1A2, then followed by O-sulfation and O-acetylation by sulfotransferase 1A1 and arylamine N-acetyltransferase 2. The metabolites of 4-aminobiphenyl then form adducts with DNA, inducing mutations. 4-Aminobiphenyl and its metabolites may also cross the placenta and have fetal effects. (1, 2, 3, 4). It is also though that the mode of action involves metabolic activation by N-hydroxylation, followed by N-esterification leading to the formation of a reactive electrophile, which binds covalently to DNA, principally to deoxyguanosine, leading to an increased rate of DNA mutations and ultimately to the development of cancer. In humans and dogs, the urinary bladder urothelium is the target organ, whereas in mice it is the bladder and liver; in other species, other tissues can be involved. Differences in organ specificity are thought to be due to differences in metabolic activation versus inactivation (A15085). | 4-Aminophenol interacts with both adult and fetal hemoglobin, forming methemoglobin. In comparison to its isomers, 2-aminophenol and 3-aminophenol, 4-aminophenol is the second most effective in forming methemoglobin. Since methemoglobin cannot bind oxygen like hemoglobin can, elevated levels of methemoglobin cause a condition called methemoglobinemia, which can result in tissue hypoxia. (L1613, A2862)
  • TOXIN SITES OF ACTION IN CELL: "Cytoplasm", "Extracellular"
  • Additional Exposure Routes: 4-Aminophenol is commonly used as a developer in black and white film, marketed under the name Rodinal. Aminophenols are also intermediates in the synthesis of dyes and can thus be found in numerous cosmetics products, particularly hair dyes. (L1882, L1883)

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  Exposure Routes

These are the Exposure Routes we have so far for this substance. There are almost certainly more. We update this section regularly. The number of chemicals with 2 or more nastiness attributes in an exposure route is shown in orange. They grey badge shows the total amount of chemicals within the exposure route.


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