Agent Name


Alternative Name


CAS Number




Major Category

Other Classes


Para-cresol; 1-Hydroxy-4-methylbenzene; 1-Methyl-4-hydroxybenzene; 4-Cresol; 4-Hydroxytoluene; 4-Methylphenol; Paramethyl phenol; Phenol, 4-methyl-; p-Cresylic acid; p-Hydroxytoluene; p-Kresol [German]; p-Methylhydroxybenzene; p-Methylphenol; p-Oxytoluene; p-Toluol; p-Tolyl alcohol; para-Cresol; para-Cresylic acid; Phenol, 4-methyl-; Cresol, p-; Cresol, p-isomer; Cresol, para-; [ChemIDplus] p-Methylphenylol; Paracresol; [HSDB] UN2076; UN3455




Solid with a phenolic odor; mp = 35.5 deg C; [Merck Index] Colorless solid that darkens on exposure to light and air; [ICSC] Colorless, white, or pink solid; [NTP] Colorless crystals; [Sigma-Aldrich MSDS]


Used as an industrial solvent, to make synthetic resins, and in disinfectants and fungicides; [Merck Index] Used to make explosives, fragrances, antioxidants, lubricating oils, motor oils, rubbers, polymers, elastomers, and other chemicals; Also used as a metal cleaning agent, solvent for wire enamels, ore flotation agent, coal desulfurizing agent, flavoring agent, and in the petroleum, photographic, paint, dye, and agricultural industries; [HSDB] Used in degreasing compounds, paintbrush cleaners, engine cleaners, and in the textile industry; [NTP] Naturally occurring in many plants, human urine, petroleum, and coal tar, as well as emissions from the combustion of wastes, coal, wood, vehicles, and cigarettes; Used primarily as an intermediate for BHT (antioxidant), other antioxidants, anisaldehyde, and other intermediates; 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]


Causes burns; Inhalation may cause pulmonary edema; Short-term exposure may have effects on the CNS (lowering of consciousness) and blood (destruction of blood cells); Prolonged or repeated exposure may have effects on the nervous system (impaired functions) and blood (anemia); Can be absorbed through skin; [ICSC] May cause second degree skin burns after a few minutes contact; [CHRIS] The most 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; Highly toxic by inhalation; 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)



20 mg/m3, inhalable fraction and vapor


22 mg/m3

Vapor Pressure

0.11 mm Hg

Odor Threshold Low

0.00046 mg/m3

Odor Threshold High

0.2 mg/m3

Lethal Concentration

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

Explanatory Notes

Odor threshold low (detection) and high (recognition) from CHRIS; The Guide in the Emergency Response Guidebook is for "Cresols."

Reference Link

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

Adverse Effects
Toxic Pneumonitis



Anemia, Hemolytic


Hepatotoxin, Secondary


Methemoglobinemia, Secondary


Skin Burns

ACGIH Carcinogen

Not Classifiable

Links to Other NLM Databases
Health Studies

Human Health Effects from Hazardous Substances Data Bank:

Toxicity Information


Chemical Information

Search ChemIDplus

Biomedical References

Search PubMed

Related Information in HazMap

Industrial Processes with risk of exposure: