Toxno Substance Profile
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Substance Name

o-Cresol
Identification Number: CASRN | 95-48-7

  Substance Attributes


  • Known Human Carcinogen

    This is a serious nasty substance. Exposure to this substance leads to cancer in Humans. Exercise extreme caution with this substance, explore your exposure routes and very seriously consider complete avoidance. See further details under Toxins.

  • 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.

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



  • CATEGORIES: Chemicals detected in flowback and produced water - collectively referred to as - hydraulic fracturing wastewater | 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 - Non Food Use Only
  • SUBSTANCE LINEAGE: Organic Compounds | Benzenoids | Benzene and Substituted Derivatives | Phenols and Derivatives | Ortho Cresols
  • SYNONYMS: 1-Hydroxy-2-methylbenzene | 1-Methyl-2-hydroxybenzene | 2-Cresol | 2-Hydroxytoluene | 2-Methylphenol | O-Cresol | o-Cresylic acid | o-Hydroxytoluene | o-Methylphenol | o-Methylphenylol | o-Oxytoluene | o-Toluol | ortho-Cresylic acid | ortho-Hydroxytoluene | ortho-Methylphenol | ortho-Methylphenylol | ortho-Oxytoluene | ortho-Toluol
  • DESCRIPTION: Has been used in CSG, Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (Fracking) as - Unknown | o-Cresol is a minor urinary metabolite of toluene, a widely used chemical with neurotoxicological properties. (A7726). o-Cresol is used commercially as a disinfectant. Exposure may occur by inhalation, by cutaneous adsorption or by oral ingestion. o-Cresol denature and precipitate cellular proteins and thus may rapidly cause poisoning. o-Cresol is metabolized by conjugation and oxidation. Ingestion of o-Cresol cause intense burning of mouth and throat, followed by marked abdominal pain and distress. The minimum lethal dose of cresol by mouth is about 2 g. (A5610).
  • COMMENTS:
  • toxin chemical structure pubchem
  • FORMULA: C7H8O
  • DATA SOURCES: DATA SOURCES: T3DB | PubChem | EPA_IRIS | EPA in USA | Flavornet | EAFUS | Compendium of Pesticide Common Names | EPA USA - Pesticide Inerts
  • LAST UPDATE: 28/04/2018

  Health Associations

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

  • SYMPTOMS: Ingestion of cresols results in burning of the mouth and throat, abdominal pain, and vomiting. Inhalation or dermal exposure to cresols can produce irritation and corrosion at the site of contact. (L482)
  • POSSIBLE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES: Cresols breathed, ingested, or applied to the skin at very high levels can be very harmful because they are corrosive substances. Ingestion of high levels results in mouth and throat burns, abdominal pain, vomiting, kidney problems, and effects on the blood and nervous system. Skin contact with high levels of cresols can burn the skin and damage the kidneys, liver, blood, lungs, and brain. Tachycardia, respiratory failure, unconsciousness and death may occur in both cases. Many of these effects may not by caused directly by cresols, but may be a result of secondary reactions to shock caused by external and internal burns. (L482, L528) | Cresols can be absorbed following inhalation, oral, and dermal exposure. Once in the body they can distribute rapidly into many organs and tissues. Cresols undergo oxidative metabolism in the liver and are rapidly eliminated, mostly in the urine, as sulfate or glucuronide conjugates. The activation of cresols by oxidation involves tyrosinase and thyroid peroxidase, forming a reactive quinone methide. Experiments with recombinant P-450s demonstrated cresol metabolism was mediated by several P-450s including CYP2D6, 2C19, 1A2, 1A1, and 2E1. (L528, A197, L529, A198)
  • ACTION OF TOXIN: Target organs of ingested cresols in humans are the blood, kidneys, lungs, liver, heart, and central nervous system. Cresols impair the stratum corneum and produce coagulation necrosis by denaturating and precipitating proteins. They may also induce changes in neurotransmitter levels, affect the activities of some enzymes, increase lipid peroxidation, and change membrane fluidity in the brain. (L528) | o-Cresol inhibits prostaglandin G/H synthases, potentially affecting the cardiovascular system by suppressing blood clot formation and leading to tissue hemorrhage. (A265)
  • TOXIN SITES OF ACTION IN CELL: "Membrane"
  • Additional Exposure Routes: Cresols are used to as solvents, disinfectants and deodorizers, as well as to make other chemicals. They may be formed normally in the body from other compounds. Cresols are found in many foods and in wood and tobacco smoke, crude oil, coal tar, and in chemical mixtures used as wood preservatives. Small organisms in soil and water produce cresols when they break down materials in the environment. Breathing air containing cresols is the primary source of exposure. Exposure may also result from drinking contaminated water, eating contaminated food and coming into contact with liquids containing cresols. (L528)

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  Exposure Routes

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