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EC number: 266-019-3
CAS number: 65996-85-2
The reaction product obtained by neutralizing coal tar oil alkaline extract with an acidic solution, such as aqueous sulfuric acid, or gaseous carbon dioxide, to obtain the free acids. Composed primarily of tar acids such as phenol, cresols, and xylenols.
Phenol causes severe chemical burns. The local effects are concentration dependent; occasionally skin necrosis was seen in humans with solutions as dilute as 1%. The threshold concentration for local effects in experimental animals is not clearly stated. Irreversible corneal opacity was found in rabbits caused by 5% aqueous phenolic solution. The in vitro study according to OECD Guideline 431 revealed skin corrosive properties. Classification: Causes burns (R 34)
Data were taken from phenol dossier - read across appreach was chosen
because the content of phenol in the registered substance could be up to
Data on irritation/corrosivity of phenol in experimental animals
and humans are presented in EU-RAR (2006), Section 18.104.22.168-4 (page
86ff). The authors concluded that phenol causes severe chemical burns.
testing is scientifically unjustified as existing animal and human data
show that the criteria for classification as corrosive to the skin are
Mild to severe chemical burns were observed even after a 1-minute
uncovered application of undiluted (molten) phenol in five male and five
female rats (Brown et al., 1975; see robust study summary in IUCLID
Section 7.3.1). The contact of 0.5 g of phenol moistened with
physiological saline with the intact and abraded areas of the skin of
the bellies of rabbits for a maximum period of 24 hours produced
necrosis of the intact skin (limited documentation; Flickinger, 1976,
see robust study summary in IUCLID Section 7.3.1). The in vitro
study according to OECD Guideline 431 (Slovnaft 2009, see Section 7.3.1)
revealed skin corrosive properties.
Phenol has corrosive properties which have been also documented in
IUCLID Section 7.2.3 and in the summary of Section 7.2.
According to OECD Guideline 405 no testing is required for
corrosive substances. However, the available data in elderly studies
confirmed the corrosive properties of phenol (Flickinger, 1976; see
robust study summary in IUCLID Section 7.3.2). Rabbits received
instillations of 100 mg phenol into the conjuntival sac. Effects were
recorded up to 14 days after application. Upon the application the
conjunctivae became inflamed, the corneas opaque, and the rabbits gave
evidence of marked discomfort. Examination of the exposed eyes 24 hours
following exposure showed severe conjunctivitis, iritis, corneal
opacities occluding most of the iris, and corneal ulcerations extending
over the entire corneal surface. There was almost no perceptible
improvement in the condition of the eyes during the observation period,
and by the 14th day all of the exposed eyes exhibited keratoconus and
In an eye irritation test 6 rabbits per group were exposed to 0.1
ml of 5% aqueous solution of phenol. In the first group the eyes were
washed for 2 minutes with 300 ml of tap water 30 seconds after
application and in the second group the eyes remained unwashed. All of
the animals produced corneal opacity but washing enhanced the recovery
of eyes damaged by phenol and in some cases decreases the severity and
duration of corneal opacities. Generally, the effects of the 5% aqueous
solution were irreversible after an observation period of 7 days (Murphy
et al., 1982; IUCLID Section 7.3.2).
Initial skin contact with phenol produces a white wrinkled
discoloration with no experience of pain due to the local anaesthetic
properties of phenol, with the affected area turning brown and
subsequently becoming gangrenous. Ten percent solutions regularly
produce corrosion, and occasionally skin necrosis is seen with solutions
as dilute as 1% (Kania, 1981; IUCLID Section 7.10.3). Concentrated
solutions are severely irritating to the eyes and cause conjunctival
swelling with the cornea becoming white and hyperaesthetic; loss of
vision has occurred in some cases. Concentration is more critical than
volume with respect to local response (Kania, 1981; IUCLID Section
Effects of 26% phenol in Creolin disinfectant were investigated in
96 cases (Spiller et al. 1993, IUCLID Section 7.10.3). CNS depression
was observed in 14%, burns were noted in 24% of orally exposed patients
and 26% after dermal exposure. In one case tissue sloughing were
observed. All other burns were first degree. It was concluded by the
authors that the absence of serious toxicity and major chemical burns in
this series does not eliminate concern with the corrosive and systemic
risks of phenol poisoning.
In France Eau Phéniquée was used as antiseptic with a phenol
content of first 10%, then 5%. Currently there are some antiseptics
available with concentrations of phenol up to 1.2%.
The available data suggested the following classification: Causes burns
Information on Registered Substances comes from registration dossiers which have been assigned a registration number. The assignment of a registration number does however not guarantee that the information in the dossier is correct or that the dossier is compliant with Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (the REACH Regulation). This information has not been reviewed or verified by the Agency or any other authority. The content is subject to change without prior notice.Reproduction or further distribution of this information may be subject to copyright protection. Use of the information without obtaining the permission from the owner(s) of the respective information might violate the rights of the owner.
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