Phenols Information

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Phenol

Other Names

Carbolic Acid; Hydroxybenzene; Phenic Acid

Chemical Formula

C6H6O; C6H5OH

CAS Number

108 – 95 – 2

Industry Uses

Antiseptic; Disinfectant; Pharmaceutical and Chemical Production

Health Risks

Irritant; Dermal Burns; Organ Damage; Death

Phenol MSDS

What is Phenol?

Phenol is a common ingredient in disinfectants and antiseptics. It is also used to relieve itching and is found in some sore throat sprays. Phenol can be found in areas with high levels of motor traffic. It is produced largely from petroleum. It is used to synthesize plastics. It is a precursor to many polycarbonates, epoxies, detergents, herbicides, and nylon, as well as numerous pharmaceutical drugs including aspirin. In drinking water, phenol causes a foul taste and odor, especially upon chlorination. High phenol concentrations indicate contamination from industrial effluents or waste discharge. Phenol is toxic to aquatic life and has long lasting damaging effects.

Phenol Exposure and Health Risks

Phenol in solution is toxic by ingestion, absorption, and inhalation. It is a strong irritant to skin, causing severe burns or numbing, and to other bodily tissues. Organ damage to the liver and kidneys is possible with exposure. Prolonged or extreme exposure can be lethal. Phenol exposure has been liked to causing genetic defects.

Regulations

The table below summarizes the most-recent standards.

Limit/Level

Type

Organization

6.3 ppm

AEGL-1 (8 hrs)

EPA

12 ppm

AEGL-2 (8 hrs)

EPA

Not Recommended

AEGL-3 (8 hrs)

EPA

5 ppm

TWA (8 hrs) - Skin

OSHA

5 ppm

TWA (8 hrs) - Skin

NIOSH

15.6 ppm

C (15 min) - Skin

NIOSH

Sources: EPA, NIOSH, OSHA

Measuring Phenol

Dissolved Phenol concentration in water can be measured in units of parts per million (ppm). We carry instrumental kits from CHEMetrics that determine phenol levels in water. We carry kits that measure phenol levels ranging from 0-1 ppm to 0-13,000 ppm. All of our phenols products can be viewed HERE.

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