Agent Name

m-Cresol

Alternative Name

3-Methylphenol

CAS Number

108-39-4

Formula

C7-H8-O

Major Category

Other Classes

Synonyms

1-Hydroxy-3-methylbenzene; 1-Methyl-3-hydroxybenzene; 3-Cresol; 3-Hydroxytoluene; 3-Methylphenol; Bacticin; Celcure Dry Mix (chemicals for wood preserving); Franklin Cresolis; Metacresol; Rover's Dog Shampoo; m-Cresylic acid; m-Hydroxytoluene; m-Kresol [German]; m-Methylphenol; m-Oxytoluene; m-Toluol; meta-Cresol; Cresol, m-; Cresol, m-isomer; Phenol, 3-methyl-; [ChemIDplus] m-Cresole; m-Cresylic; meta-Cresylic acid; Hydroxy-3-methylbenzene; 3-Methyl-1-hydroxybenzene; m-Methylphenylol; [HSDB] UN2076

Category

Phenols

Description

Colorless or yellowish liquid with a phenolic odor; mp = 11-12 deg C; [Merck Index] Hygroscopic; [CAMEO]

Sources/Uses

Used to make synthetic resins; Also used in disinfectants, photographic developers, explosives, fungicides, and as an industrial solvent; [Merck Index] Used in combination with 2,4-xylenol (CAS# 105-67-9) as a bactericide/bacteriostat for the control of crown gall, olive knot, and burr knot in fruit, nut, and ornamental trees and vines; [EPA REDs] Used as flavoring agent or adjuvant; [FDA] Used in ore flotation, fumigation compounds, degreasing compounds, paintbrush cleaners, lubricating oils, as a wood preservative, engine and metal cleaner, and in the textile industry; [NTP] Naturally occurring in many plants, petroleum, and, coal tar, as well as emissions from the combustion of wastes, coal, wood, vehicles, and cigarettes; Used primarily as an intermediate for synthetic vitamin E, pesticides, fragrances, antioxidants, disinfectants, and preservatives; Used as a pharmaceutical bactericide and preservative; Uses for all cresol isomers include as preservatives or stabilizers in cleaning/washing agents, surface treatment products, paints, adhesives, binding agents, corrosion inhibitors, and impregnation materials; [Reference #2]

Comments

Causes burns; Inhalation may cause pulmonary edema; Exposure may cause CNS depression and hemolytic anemia; Can be absorbed through skin; [ICSC] May cause second degree burns after a few minutes contact; May cause liver and kidney injury; [CHRIS] Least toxic of the three cresol isomers; May cause skin sensitization; [HSDB] No evidence of skin sensitization in limited studies of humans and guinea pigs using p-cresol and m-/p-cresol; A survey reports hypersensitivity reactions of certain individuals to cresol (unspecified isomer); Neither isomer produced mortality or clinical signs of toxicity following exposure to saturated vapor concentrations, although inhalation of aerosols may be fatal; [Reference #2] Safe when used as a flavoring agent in food; [JECFA] Causes burns; Inhalation may cause corrosive injuries to upper respiratory tract and lungs; Toxic by ingestion and skin absorption; Targets the CNS, lungs, liver, kidney, and eyes; [Sigma-Aldrich MSDS] See "Cresol, all isomers."

Reference Link

ATSDR - ToxFAQs - Cresols

Exposure Assessment
Skin Designation (ACGIH)

Yes

TLV (ACGIH)

20 mg/m3, inhalable fraction and vapor

PEL (OSHA)

22 mg/m3

Vapor Pressure

0.11 mm Hg

Odor Threshold Low

5 mg/m3

Lethal Concentration

LC50 (rat) > 710 mg/m3/1hr

Explanatory Notes

Odor threshold from NTP; The Guide in the Emergency Response Guidebook is for "Cresols."

Reference Link

OECD SIDS: m-/p-Cresol Category - 2003

Adverse Effects
Toxic Pneumonitis

Yes

Hepatotoxin

Hepatotoxin, Secondary

Dermatotoxin

Skin Burns

ACGIH Carcinogen

Not Classifiable

Links to Other NLM Databases
Health Studies

Human Health Effects from Hazardous Substances Data Bank:

Toxicity Information

Search TOXNET

Chemical Information

Search ChemIDplus

Related Information in HazMap
Processes

Industrial Processes with risk of exposure: