2-methyl-Phenol
EPA Designation Candidate
EPA Classification Chemical
EPA Levels n/a
Alternative Names o-cresol
Sources not available
Cresols are organic compounds which are methylphenols. They are a widely occurring natural and manufactured group of aromatic organic compounds which are categorized as phenols (sometimes called phenolics).

Overview

Cresols are organic compounds which are methylphenols. They are a widely occurring natural and manufactured group of aromatic organic compounds which are categorized as phenols (sometimes called phenolics). Depending on the temperature, cresols can be solid or liquid because they have melting points not far from room temperature. Like other types of phenols, they are slowly oxidized by long exposure to air and the impurities often give cresols a yellowish to brownish red tint. Cresols have an odor characteristic to that of other simple phenols, reminiscent to some of a "coal tar" smell.

Uses

Lysol, Sharpie Markers, etc.

Health Effects

Most exposures to cresols are at very low levels that are not harmful. When cresols are breathed, ingested, or applied to the skin at very high levels, they can be very harmful. Effects observed in people include irritation and burning of skin, eyes, mouth, and throat; abdominal pain and vomiting; heart damage; anemia; liver and kidney damage; facial paralysis; coma; and death.