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Environmental fate & pathways

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The tropospheric half-life of o-cresol is approximately 9 h due to degradation by OH radicals with an average concentration of 500000 radicals/mL.

With regard to its chemical structure o-cresol is not expected to hydrolyses under environmental conditions.


o-Cresol is readily biodegradable. It is inherent biodegradable, but not anaerobically biodegradable..

Biodegradation half-lives in 2 agricultural soils were determined to be 1.6 for a sandy loam and 5.1 for a sandy silt loam.


In a flow-through test according to the OECD guideline 305 E a BCF of 10.7 in zebrafish (Brachydanio rerio) was obtained for o-cresol, indicating that the substance is not bioaccumulative.

Adsorption / desorption

The Koc of o-cresol was determined in an experiment, similar to the OECD Guideline 106. Koc values of 22 - 56 for different soils and sediments were obtained, suggesting a low potential for adsorption.


The experimentally determined Henry's law constant for o-cresol is 0.15 Pa*m³/mole at 25°C.

The distribution of o-cresol in a unit world was calculated according to the Mackay fugacity model level I based on its physico-chemical properties. The main target compartment for o-cresol is water with 93.7 %, followed by air with 5 %, soil and sediment each with 0.7 %.