Chemical Fact Sheet

Chemical Abstract Number (CAS #) 108394
CASRN 108-39-4
Phenol, 3-methyl-
Molecular FormulaC7H8O

Link to the National Library of Medicine's Hazardous Substances
Database for more details on this compound.

Use IN FUMIGANTS; IN PHOTOGRAPHIC DEVELOPERS, EXPLOSIVES CHEM INT FOR THYMOL USED IN COUGH/COLD MEDICINALS, SYNTHETIC PYRETHROID INSECTICIDES, 3-METHYL-6-T-BUTYLPHENOL, TRINITRO-M-CRESOL FOR EXPLOSIVES, & PHENOLIC RESINS (POSSIBLE USE); DISINFECTANT INGREDIENT (POSSIBLE USE); ORE FLOTATION AGENT (POSSIBLE USE); SOLVENT (EG, FOR WIRE ENAMEL) /Uses include textile scouring agent, manufacture of salicylaldehyde, coumarin, herbicides, and surfactants /Cresols have wide applications in synthetic resin, explosive, petroleum, photographic, paint and agricultural industries Used as disinfectant/bacteriocide/germicide for animal pathogenic bacteria (G- and G vegetative) in households (unspecified), sickrooms (unspecified), hospitals (unspecified), veterinary hospital premises, veterinary clinics, veterinary hospitals, hospital critical premises; on surgical instruments, hospital instruments, diagnostic instruments/equipment and on hospital critical rubber/plastic items. Franklin Cresolis Used only in manufacturing as a fungicide. Celcure Dry Mix Used as an insecticide and miticide on dogs for treatment of lice and fleas. Rover's Dog Shampoo Used as a bacteriocide/bacteriostat in treatment of crown gall (Agrobacterium tumefaciens) by bark treatment in grapes, almonds, walnuts, apples, pears, apricots, cherries, peaches, plums, and prunes; also used to treat olive knot (Pseudomonas savastanoi) by bark treatment in olives. /Gallex
Odor Phenolic odor; Odor of coal tar
Boiling Point 202 DEG C
Melting Point 11-12 DEG C
Molecular Weight 108.15
Density 1.034 @ 20 DEG C/4 DEG C
Odor Threshold Concentration WATER: 0.037 MG/L; AIR: 0.0028 UL/L; ODOR SAFETY CLASS A; A= MORE THAN 90% OF DISTRACTED PERSONS PERCEIVE WARNING OF TLV CONCN IN AIR. Odor detection in water: 6.80X10-1 ppm (chemically pure)
Environmental Impact m-Cresol is released to the atmosphere in auto and diesel exhaust, during coal tar refining and wood pulping and during its use in manufacturing and metal refining. Wastewater from these industries as well as from municipal wastewater plants contain m-cresol. When released to the atmosphere m-cresol will react with photochemically produced hydroxyl radicals during the day (half-life 8 hr) and react with nitrate radicals at night (half-life 5 min). It will also be scavenged by rain. Biodegradation will generally be the dominant loss mechanism when m-cresol is released into water, and half-lives in most surface waters would range from hours to days. Longer half-lives would occur in oligotrophic lakes and marine waters. Volatilization, bioconcentration in fish, and adsorption to sediment will be unimportant and photolysis is only expected to be important in surface waters of oligotrophic lakes. Its fate in soil has not been well characterized. It is relatively mobile in most soils and will biodegrade (100% in eleven days). Human exposure will primarily be via inhalation and dermal contact in the workplace and inhalation in source areas.
Environmental Fate TERRESTRIAL FATE: m-Cresol is mobile in soil and therefore it has the potential to leach into ground water if released onto soil. However it biodegrades rapidly in water and there is evidence that it biodegrades in soil as well although data on this is not abundant and rates are lacking. AQUATIC FATE: The primary removal mechanism for m-cresol in most surface waters is biodegradation with half-lives in estuarine waters of several days. The half-lives are shorter in fresh water and longer in marine waters. In oligotrophic lakes, photolysis may contribute to the removal process but experimental data are lacking. Degradation under anaerobic conditions is much slower, weeks rather than hours in screening studies but there is insufficient data from natural systems to estimate degradation rates. ATMOSPHERIC FATE: The photochemical half-life of m-cresol during the daytime is 8 hrs while at night it is 5 min. The dominant reactions are with hydroxyl radicals during the day and with nitrate radical at night. Daytime half-lives will be reduced under smog conditions. m-Cresol is highly soluble in water and it will be scavenged from the atmosphere by rain(1,SRC).
Drinking Water Impact SURFACE WATER: Detected, not quantitated in Lake Michigan Basin - St. Joseph River . GROUNDWATER: Groundwater in a sand aquifer at a wood-preserving facility in Pensacola, FL (5 sites, 5 depths) 0-13.73 mg/l . Southington CT landfill site 0.6 mg/l Two monitoring wells under rapid infiltration site at Fort Devens MA where the m-cresol concentration is 66 ug/l in the basin, 0.020 ug/l and ND . RAIN/SNOW: Portland, OR - seven rain events 380-2000 parts per trillion, >1100 parts per trillion, mean including m-isomer dissolved in rain . EFFL: 71% frequency of appearance in effluents from refineries, petrochemical and metallurgical industries, municipal wastewater plants and polluted fjords in Norway . Identified in finished water from advanced waste treatment plants .

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