Health and Safety Guide No. 88


                               HEALTH AND SAFETY


                         This is a companion volume to
                   Environmental Health Criteria 161: Phenol

      Published by the World Health Organization for the International
   Programme on Chemical Safety (a collaborative programme of the United
    Nations Environment Programme, the International Labour Organisation,
                     and the World Health Organization)


    This report contains the collective views of an international group of 
    experts and does not necessarily represent the decisions or the stated 
    policy of the United Nations Environment Programme, the International 
    Labour Organisation, or the World Health Organization 

    WHO Library Cataloguing in Publication Data 

    Phenol : health and safety guide. 

      (Health and safety guide ; no. 88) 

      1.Phenols - standards  2.Environmental exposure 

      ISBN 92 4 151088 9           (NLM Classification: QD 341.P5)
      ISSN 0259-7268


    The World Health Organization welcomes requests for permission to 
    reproduce or translate its publications, in part or in full. 
    Applications and enquiries should be addressed to the Office of 
    Publications, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, which 
    will be glad to provide the latest information on any changes made to 
    the text, plans for new editions, and reprints and translations already 

                       World Health Organization 1994

    Publications of the World Health Organization enjoy copyright 
    protection in accordance with the provisions of Protocol 2 of the 
    Universal Copyright Convention.  All rights reserved. 

    The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this 
    publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on 
    the part of the Secretariat of the World Health Organization concerning 
    the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its 
    authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or 

    The mention of specific companies or of certain manufacturers' products 
    does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by the World 
    Health Organization in preference to others of a similar nature that 
    are not mentioned.  Errors and omissions excepted, the names of 
    proprietary products are distinguished by initial capital letters. 

     The Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and
   Nuclear Safety (Fed. Rep. Germany) provided financial support for, and 
                undertook the printing of, this publication. 

           Computer typesetting by HEADS, Oxtord OX8 8NY, England
  Printed by Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft mbH D-70009 Stuttgart 10 



    1. PRODUCT IDENTITY AND USES...........................
      1.1 Identity.........................................
      1.2 Physical and chemical properties.................
      1.3 Composition......................................
      1.4 Analysis.........................................
      1.5 Production and uses..............................
    2. SUMMARY AND EVALUATION..............................
      2.1 Exposure.........................................
      2.2 Environmental fate...............................
      2.3 Kinetics and metabolism..........................
      2.4 Effects on organisms in the environment..........
      2.5 Effects on experimental animals and
           in vitro test systems............................
      2.6 Effects on humans................................
    3. CONCLUSIONS.........................................
      3.1 Human health.....................................
      3.2 Environment......................................
       AND PROTECTION, EMERGENCY ACTION....................
      4.1 Human health hazards, prevention and
          protection, first aid............................
      4.2 Advice to physicians.............................
      4.3 Health surveillance advice.......................
      4.4 Explosion and fire hazards.......................
          4.4.1 Explosion and fire hazards.................
          4.4.2 Prevention.................................
          4.4.3 Fire-extinguishing agents..................
      4.5 Storage..........................................
      4.6 Transport........................................
      4.7 Spillage and disposal............................
        4.7.1 Spillage.....................................
        4.7.2 Disposal (based on the IRPTC waste disposal  
       7.1 Exposure limit values...........................
       7.2 Specific restrictions...........................
       7.3 Labelling, packaging, and transport.............
       7.4 Waste disposal..................................


    The Environmental Health Criteria (EHC) monographs produced by the 
    International Programme on Chemical Safety include an assessment of the 
    effects on the environment and on human health of exposure to a 
    chemical or combination of chemicals, or physical or biological agents. 
    They also provide guidelines for setting exposure limits. 

    The purpose of a Health and Safety Guide is to facilitate the 
    application of these guidelines in national chemical safety programmes. 
    The first three sections of a Health and Safety Guide highlight the 
    relevant technical information in the corresponding EHC.  Section 4 
    includes advice on preventive and protective measures and emergency 
    action; health workers should be thoroughly familiar with the medical 
    information to ensure that they can act efficiently in an emergency. 
    Within the Guide is a Summary of Chemical Safety Information which 
    should be readily available, and should be clearly explained, to all 
    who could come into contact with the chemical.  The section on 
    regulatory information has been extracted from the legal file of the 
    International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals (IRPTC) and from 
    other United Nations sources. 

    The target readership includes occupational health services, those in 
    ministries, governmental agencies, industry, and trade unions who are 
    involved in the safe use of chemicals and the avoidance of 
    environmental health hazards, and those wanting more information on 
    this topic.  An attempt has been made to use only terms that will be 
    familiar to the intended user.  However, sections 1 and 2 inevitably 
    contain some technical terms.  A bibliography has been included for 
    readers who require further background information. 

    Revision of the information in this Guide will take place in due 
    course, and the eventual aim is to use standardized terminology. 
    Comments on any difficulties encountered in using the Guide would be 
    very helpful and should be addressed to: 

                                The Director
                 International Programme on Chemical Safety
                         World Health Organization
                               1211 Geneva 27

                       THE INFORMATION IN THIS GUIDE 
                         SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS A 
                        HEALTH AND SAFETY PROGRAMME

                        1. PRODUCT IDENTITY AND USES

    1.1 Identity

    Chemical formula:       C6H6O

    Chemical structure:
    Figure 1;;;grph88_1.bmp
    Common synonyms:        acidum carbolicum, acidum phenolicum, acidum 
                            phenylicum, benzophenol, benzene phenol, 
                            carbolic acid, hydroxybenzene, 
                            monohydroxybenzene, oxybenzene, phenic acid, 
                            phenyl hydrate, phenyl hydroxide, phenylic 
                            acid, phenylic alcohol 

    Common trade
    names:                  Baker's P and S liquid ointment, Venzenol

    CAS registry
    number:                 108-95-2

    RTECS registry
    number:                 SJ 3325000 (solid)

    UN number:              UN 1671

    Conversion factors:     1 ppm of phenol = 3.85 mg/m3 air, and
                            1 mg of phenol/m3 air = 0.26 ppm
                            at 20 C and 101.3 kPa (760 mmHg)

    1.2 Physical and Chemical Properties

    Phenol is a solid at room temperature and normal atmospheric pressure 
    consisting of white crystals that turn pink or red when exposed to air 
    and light.  It has a burning taste and a distinctive odour.  The 
    compound has limited solubility in water (6.7 g/100 ml) and is soluble 
    in most organic solvents.  The melting point of 43 C is lowered by 
    the addition of water to the extent that a 90 % mixture of phenol in 
    water (phenolum liquefactum) is liquid at room temperature. 

    Chemically, the compound is a weak acid.  The pH of aqueous solutions 
    is about 6.0. It reacts readily with oxidizing agents. 

    1.3 Composition

    The commercially available synthetic crystalline product is at least
    98 % pure.  Commercial grades of phenol obtained from the distillation 
    of coal tar consist of 80 % or more phenol, the remaining constituents 
    being water and cresol. 

    1.4 Analysis

    The substance can be detected and determined quantitatively by gas 
    chromatography in combination with flame ionization/electron capture 
    detection or by high-performance liquid chromatography in combination 
    with UV detection.  Detection limits are 0.1 g/m3 in air, and 
    0.5 g/litre in urine. 

    1.5 Production and Uses

    The total industrial world production of phenol in 1981 was estimated 
    at 3375 kilotonnes, which was approximately 60 % of the total capacity. 

    Phenol is mainly used for the manufacture of phenolic resins, bisphenol 
    A, and caprolactam.  Other products are alkylphenols, xylenol, cresol, 
    and adipic acid.  Minor uses include the production of germicidal 
    paints, pharmaceutical products, dyes, and indicators, and the use of 
    phenols as a laboratory reagent, a slimicide, and a general 

                         2. SUMMARY AND EVALUATION

    2.1 Exposure

    Potential sources of phenol exposure include: the production and use of 
    phenol and its products, residential wood burning, cigarette smoke, the 
    degradation of benzene under the influence of light, and the presence 
    of phenol in liquid manure. 

    Background atmospheric levels are estimated to be less than 1 ng/m3 
    urban/suburban atmospheric levels vary from 0.1 to 8 g/m3, while 
    concentrations near industry may be up to two orders of magnitude 
    higher.  Increased phenol has been reported in sediments and 
    groundwaters associated with industrial pollution.  Cigarette smoke and 
    smoked food products are the most important sources of phenol exposure, 
    apart from exposure via air.

    Occupational exposures generally do not exceed 19 mg/m3.

    2.2 Environmental Fate

    The major part of phenol in the atmosphere is degraded by photochemical 
    reactions to dihydroxybenzenes, nitrophenols, and ring cleavage 
    products.  A minor part will be removed by rain. 

    Phenol in water and soil is degraded by abiotic reactions and microbial 
    activity to a number of compounds, the most important of which are 
    carbon dioxide and methane. 

    2.3 Kinetics and Metabolism

    Phenol is readily absorbed from any media; it is rapidly distributed to 
    all tissues.  The liver, the lung, and the gastrointestinal mucosa are 
    the most important sites of phenol metabolism.  It mainly conjugates 
    with glucuronic acid and sulfuric acid.  In vivo and  in vitro studies 
    have demonstrated covalent binding to tissue and plasma proteins. 
    Urinary excretion is the major route of phenol disposal in animals and 
    humans.  A minor part is eliminated in the faeces and expired air. 
    2.4 Effects on Organisms in the Environment

    A toxicity threshold of 64 mg phenol/litre was found for bacteria. 
    Values for protozoa and fungi are of the same order of magnitude, 
    however, the values for algae are somewhat lower. 

    Phenol is toxic for higher freshwater organisms.  The lowest LC50 or 
    EC50 values for crustaceans and fish are between 3 and 7 mg/litre.  On 
    the basis of long-term studies on crustacea and fish, a significant 
    difference in sensitivity was found: the LC1 values from embryolarval 
    tests on Salmo and Carassius were much lower (0.2 and 2 g/litre, 
    respectively) than the corresponding values for other fish species and 

    The bioconcentration factors of phenol in various types of water 
    organisms are low; the compound is therefore not expected to 
    bioaccumulate significantly. 

    Data concerning the effects of phenol on terrestrial organisms are 
    scarce.  A 120-h EC50 for millet was 120-170 mg/litre. 

    2.5 Effects on Animals and in vitro Test Systems

    Phenol is moderately toxic for manunals.  The oral LD50 in rodents 
    ranged from 300 to 600 mg/kg body weight, while the dermal LD50 for 
    rats and rabbits ranged from 670 to 1400 mg/kg body weight, and the 8-h 
    LC50 for rats was more than 900 mg/m3 . Clinical symptoms after short-
    term exposure are neuromuscular hyperexcitability, necrosis of the skin 
    and mucous membranes, and effects on the lungs, kidneys, and liver. 

    In short-term animal studies, toxic effects in the rat kidney have been 
    reported at oral dose levels of 40 mg or more/kg body weight per day. 
    In a limited 14-day study on rats, an oral no-observed- adverse-effect 
    level (NOAEL) of 12 mg/kg body weight per day was found on the basis of 
    kidney effects.  In two multiple dose reproductive toxicity studies on 
    rats, NOAELs of 40 mg/kg body weight per day and 60 mg/kg body weight 
    per day, respectively, were found. 

    A majority of bacterial tests gave negative results.  Phenol had no 
    effects on intercellular communication in cultured mammalian cells.  No 
    micronuclei were observed in mice studies at low doses.  However, 
    mutations, chromosome damage, and DNA effects were observed in 
    mammalian cells  in vitro, as was induction of micronuclei in bone 
    marrow cells of mice. 
    In two carcinogenicity studies in which phenol was administered to male 
    and female rats and mice in the drinking-water, malignancies were seen 
    only in low-dose male rats.  Two-stage carcinogenicity studies showed 
    that phenol repeatedly applied to mouse skin had promoting activity. 

    Solutions of phenol are corrosive to the skin and eyes, while phenol
    vapour can irritate the respiratory tract.  Phenol is not a skin

    2.6 Effects on Humans

    Gastrointestinal irritation was reported following ingestion of phenol. 
    Painless blanching, or effects ranging from erythema to corrosion and 
    deep necrosis, occurred following dermal exposure.  Main systemic 
    effects included cardiac dysrhythmias, respiratory distress, metabolic 
    acidosis, renal failure, dark urine, methaemoglobinaemia, neurological 
    effects, cardiovascular shock, coma, and death.  The lowest reported 
    fatal dose was 4.8 g by ingestion; death occurred within 19 min. 

    Symptoms associated with inhalation of phenol included anorexia, weight 
    loss, headache, vertigo, salivation, acidosis, and dark urine.  No 
    cases of death following this type of exposure have been reported. 

    The odour threshold has been reported to range from 0.021 to 20 mg/m3 
    in air, while the threshold for odour in water has been reported to be 
    7.9 mg/litre.  A taste threshold value of 0.3 mg/litre water has been 

                               3. CONCLUSIONS

    3.1 Human Health

    Exposure of the general population to phenol mainly occurs by 
    inhalation.  Minor oral exposure may arise through the consumption of 
    smoked food or drinking-water. 

    The exposure data are inadequate to determine the extent of exposure of 
    the general population.  However, an upper estimate of the daily intake 
    can be made on the basis of the "worst case scenario", assuming that 
    an individual would have maximum exposure to phenol through continuous 
    inhalation of heavily contaminated air with frequent consumption of 
    smoked food and regular consumption of drinking-water containing phenol 
    levels up to the taste threshold.  On the basis of these assumptions, 
    the estimated maximum total daily intake of phenol, for a 70-kg 
    individual, is 100 g/kg body weight per day. 

    The NOAELS, identified in rat studies for kidney and developmental 
    effects, are in the range of 12-40 mg/kg body weight per day.  Using an 
    uncertainty factor of 200, a range of 60-200 g/kg body weight per day 
    is recommended as the upper limit of total human daily intake.  Taking 
    into account that the "worst case scenario" estimate is 100 g/kg body 
    weight per day, it is concluded that the average general population 
    exposure to phenol from all sources is below this range.  However, the 
    available data suggest that phenol may be genotoxic and there are 
    insufficient data to discount its possible carcinogenicity. 

    3.2 Environment

    Phenol is not expected to bioaccumulate significantly.  It is toxic for 
    aquatic organisms, and an environmental concern level of 0.02 g/litre 
    is suggested for water.  Adequate data on plants and terrestrial 
    organisms are lacking. 

    Intercompartmental transport of phenol mainly occurs by wet deposition 
    and by leaching through soil.  Generally, the compound is not likely to 
    persist in the environment.  Because exposure data are scarce, firm 
    conclusions cannot be drawn with regard to the extent of the risk for 
    either aquatic or terrestrial ecosystems.  However, in view of the 
    derived environmental concern level for water, it is reasonable to 
    assume that aquatic organisms may be at risk in any surface or sea 
    waters that are contaminated with phenol. 

                    4. HUMAN HEALTH HAZARDS, PREVENTION 

    4.1 Human Health Hazards, Prevention and Protection, First Aid

    The human health hazards associated with certain types of exposure to 
    phenol, together with preventive and protective measures and first aid 
    recommendations are listed in the table on pages 16-17 and in the 
    Summary of Chemical Safety Information on pages 22-24. 

    4.2 Advice to Physicians

    Phenol intoxication can be recognized by the characteristic odour of 
    the compound in the breath.  The compound can be detected in the urine, 
    which is dark-coloured (green to black).  The compound is corrosive to 
    mucous membranes, eyes, and skin. 

    No specific antidote is known.  Treat symptomatically.

    Recommended gastric lavage fluids are water, following administration
    of activated charcoal, or vegetable oils, such as olive oil, castor
    oil, or cottonseed oil.

    Watch for signs of pulmonary oedema, which may develop rapidly.  Treat 
    shock conservatively, because of uncertain cardiac and renal status. 
    Only severe circulatory collapse demands infusions.  The acid-base 
    balance should be investigated to detect possible metabolic acidosis. 

    In case of skin treatment, the physician should protect his skin from 
    contamination.  Contaminated skin, washed with large quantities of 
    water, may be further cleaned with a 70:30 mixture of polyethylene 
    glycol and ethanol. 

    4.3 Health Surveillance Advice

    Individuals, potentially exposed to phenol, should undergo periodic 
    medical examination with emphasis on effects on the skin, respiratory 
    tract, central nervous system, liver, and kidneys.  They should also be 
    checked for their ability to use respirators. 

    4.4 Explosion and Fire Hazards

    4.4.1  Explosion a fire hazards

    Above 73 C, vapour-air mixtures may be formed that can be ignited by 
    open fires, sparks, or glowing surfaces.  The autoignition temperature 
    is 715 C. 

    The compound reacts moderately fast with oxidizing agents and violently 
    with butadiene, peroxydisulfuric acid, peroxymonosulfuric acid, and 
    aluminium chloride + nitrobenzene. 

    Phenol and its solutions are flammable.  The compound emits toxic times 
    when heated or when bunting.  Heating of phenol or its solution in 
    water in containers will cause a pressure rise with risk of bursting. 

    4.4.2  Prevention

    Above 73 C, use closed apparatus and apply ventilation.  Do not use
    the compound near sources of ignition.

    In case of fire, keep containers with molten or aqueous phenol cool by 
    spraying with water.  If possible, prevent extinguishing agents from 
    running into sewers.  Fire-fighters should use self-contained breathing 

    4.4.3  Fire-extinguishing agents

    Alcohol foam, carbon dioxide, dry chemical powder, water spray, halons. 

    4.5 Storage

    Phenol should be stored separately from food, oxidants, and other 
    incompatible substances (section 4.4.1) in an adequately ventilated, 
    dry, dark, fire-proof, and well-labelled room.  Storage tanks should be 
    electrically grounded and bonded to transfer lines.  The containers 
    must be labelled, tightly closed, and kept in good condition. 

    4.6 Transport

    In case of accidents, stop the engine.  Remove all sources of ignition. 
    Keep bystanders at a distance and mark the roads.  Keep upwind.  When 

                              EMERGENCY ACTION

    HEALTH HAZARDS                             PREVENTION AND PROTECTION                  FIRST AID


    SKIN: blanching, burning sensation         Avoid exposure; wear clean protective      Remove contaminated clothing and shoes
    followed by numbness; corrosion            clothing, gloves (neoprene, rubber),       instantly; wash with plenty of water for 
    (burn and gangrene); may enter body        and shoes; provide emergency shower        at least 15 min and then with a mixture of 
    fast through skin and cause systemic                                                  70:30 polyethylene glycol and ethanol
    effects (see ingestion)

    EYES: irritation by vapour; irritation     Wear safety goggles and/or a face-         Rinse with plenty of water for at least
    or corrosion by liquid                     shield; provide eye-wash                   15 min

    INHALATION: inflammation and               Avoid exposure; apply ventilation,         Remove victim to fresh air and keep quiet;
    oedema in respiratory system;              local exhaust, or breathing protection     if breathing has stopped, apply artificial
    central nervous syatem depression          using a suitable respirator                respiration
    (see ingestion)

    INGESTION: irritation, corrosion or        Do not eat, drink, chew, or smoke          Rinse mouth; give large quantities of
    of mouth, throat, and gastrointestinal     when working with phenol; do not           water to drink; do NOT induce vomiting
    tract; nervous system depression with      keep food in areas with potential
    respiratory problems; pulmonary
    oedema; renal insufficiency


    SKIN: dermatitis; may enter body           Wear clean, impervious, protective
    and cause systemic effects (see            clothing, gloves (neoprene, poly-
    ingestion)                                 ethylene, rubber), and shoes

    INGESTION AND INHALATION:                  Apply ventilation and local exhaust
    liver and kidney damage; central
    nervous system disturbances
    transporting molten phenol or a solution of phenol, put on protective 
    equipment before entering the danger area.  In case of spillage or 
    fire, use the methods advised in sections 4.7 and 4.4, respectively. 
    Notify the police and fire brigade immediately.  In the case of 
    poisoning, follow the advice in sections 4.1 and 4.2. 

    4.7 Spillage and Disposal

    4.7.1  Spillage

    Remove all ignition sources and evacuate the area.  Ventliate the area. 
    Cover spilled solid phenol with dry lime or soda ash.  Contain molten 
    phenol with sand or earth and allow solidification.  Absorb a phenol 
    solution in earth or sand.  Remove to a safe place to hold it for 
    disposal.  Prevent molten phenol or a solution of phenol from entering 
    sewers, water courses, or soil. Ensure personal protection. 

    4.7.2  Disposal (based on the IRPTC waste disposal file)

    Incineration is the recommended method of disposal.  Dissolve or mix 
    the material with a combustible solvent and burn in a chemical 
    incinerator equipped with an afterburner or scrubber. 

                    5. HAZARDS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND 
                              THEIR PREVENTION

    Generally, phenol is not likely to persist in air, sea or surface 
    water, soil, or sewage.  Phenol readily reacts photochemically and is 
    rapidly biodegraded aerobically.  Anaerobic degradation to carbon 
    dioxide or methane also occurs.  It is not expected to bioaccumulate 

    Phenol is toxic for aquatic organisms and these may be at risk in any 
    surface or sea water contaminated with phenol. 

    Contamination of soil, water, and the atmosphere can be avoided by 
    proper methods of storage, transport, and waste disposal, recommended 
    in sections 4.5, 4.6, 4.7.2 and 7.4. In case of spillage, apply the 
    methods recommended in section 4.7.1. 

                       6. SUMMARY OF CHEMICAL SAFETY

     The summary should be easily available to all health workers concerned 
     with, and users of, phenol.  It should be displayed at, or near, 
     entrances to areas where there is potential exposure to phenol, and on 
     processing equipment and containers.  The summary should be translated 
     into the appropriate language(s).  All persons potentially exposed to 
     the chemical should also have the instructions in the summary clearly 
     Space is available for insertion of the National Occupational Exposure 
     Limit, the address and telephone number of the National Poison Control 
     Centre, and local trade names. 



                          Molecular formula: C6H6O
                       CAS registry number: 108-95-2
                  RTEC registry number: SJ 3325000 (solid)

    PHYSICAL PROPERTIES                                   OTHER CHARACTERISTICS
    Relative molecular mass          94.11                White crystalline solid turning pink or red when
    Melting point (C)               40.9                 exposed to air and light; burning taste and
    Boiling point (C)               181.75               distinctive odour; the compound reacts moderately
    Water solubility (g/litre)       67                   fast with oxidizing agents and violently with
    Specific density (25C)          1.071                butadiene, peroxydisulfuric acid, peroxymono-
    Relative vapour density          3.24                 sulfuric acid, and aluminium chloride + nitro-
    Vapour pressure (kPa) (20C)     0.04 (0.357 mmHg)    benzene; when heated or burning the compound
    Ignition temperature (C)        715                  emits toxic fumes; the compound is extremely
    Flash point (closed cup) (C)    80                   destructive to mucous membranes, skin, and eyes
    Flammability (explosive)                              and may be fatal if inhaled, swallowed, or absorbed
      limits (vol. %)                1.3-9.5              through the skin

    HAZARDS/SYMPTOMS                            PREVENTION AND PROTECTION                    FIRST AID
    SKIN: blanching, burning sensation          Wear clean protective impervious             Remove contaminated clothing and shoes
    followed by numbness; corrosion             clothing, gloves (neoprene, rubber           instantly; wash with plenty of water for 
    with burns and gangrene; may enter          polyethylene), and shoes                     at least 15 min; obtain medical attention
    body through skin (see ingestion)                                                        immediately

    EYES: irritation or corrosion; redness;     Wear safety goggles and/or face              Rinse with plenty of water for at least
    blurred vision; burning sensation           shield                                       15 min; obtain medical attention

    INHALATION: inflammation and                Apply ventilation, local exhaust,            Remove victim to fresh air and keep quiet;
    oedema in nose, throat, and respira-        or breathing protection using a suitable     if breathing has stopped, apply artificial
    tory tract; breathing difficulties and a    respirator                                   respiratory; obtain medical attention 
    burning sensation; central nervous                                                       immediately
    system depression (see ingestion)

    INGESTION: irritation, corrosion of         Do not eat, drink, chew, or smoke            Rinse mouth; give large quantities of
    mouth, throat, and gastrointestinal         during work; do not keep food in areas       water to drink; do NOT induce vomiting;
    tract; burning sensation; abdominal         with potential exposure; keep out of         obtain medical attention immediately
    pain; nausea; vomiting; central             reach of children
    nervous system depression; headache,
    dizziness; coma; breathing difficulties;
    pulmonary oedema
    ENVIRONMENT: may present a risk             Contamination of water can be avoided        In the case of spillage, cover solid phenol
    for aquatic organisms                       by proper methods of storage,                with dry lime or soda ash; phenol solution 
                                                transport, and disposal                      should be covered with earth or sand

    SPILLAGE                                    STORAGE                                      FIRE AND EXPLOSION

    Remove ignition sources; evacuate and       Store in a ventilated, dry, dark, fire-      Phenol (solution) is flammable; air-
    ventilate the area; cover solid phenol      proof, well-labelled room away from          vapour mixtures may be explosive; keep
    with dry lime or soda ash; contain          foodstuffs, oxidants, and other              away sources of ignition; above 79 C use
    molten phenol or a solution of phenol       incompatible substances; containers          closed apparatus and apply ventilation; in
    with sand or earth and prevent run-off      must be labelled, tightly closed, and        case of fire, keep containers cool by
    into sewers, water courses, or soil;        kept in good condition; storage tanks        spraying with water; fire-extinguishers
    ensure personal protection                  must be electronically grounded              are carbon dioxide, alcohol foam, dry
                                                                                             chemical powder, water spray, and halons

    WASTE DISPOSAL                   

    Dissolve or mix the material with a         National occupational exposure               UN 1671
    combustible solvent and burn in an          limit:
    approved chemical incinerator
                                                National Poison Control Centre:

                      7. CURRENT REGULATIONS, GUIDELINES,
                                 AND STANDARDS

    The information given in this section has been extracted from the 
    International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals (IRPTC) legal 
    file.  A frill reference to the original national document from which 
    the information was extracted can be obtained from IRPTC.  When no 
    effective data appear in the IRPTC legal file, the year of the 
    reference from which the data are taken is indicated by (r). 

    The reader should be aware that regulatory decisions about chemicals 
    taken in a certain country can only be frilly understood in the 
    framework of the legislation of that country.  Furthermore, the 
    regulations and guidelines of all countries are subject to change and 
    should always be verified with the appropriate regulatory authorities 
    before application. 

    7.1 Exposure Limit Values

    Some exposure limit values are shown in the table on pages 26-27.

    7.2 Specific Restrictions

    The European Community legislation stipulates that phenol and its 
    alkali salts must not be contained in cosmetic products, except when 
    subject to certain restrictions and conditions laid down.  Member 
    States prohibit the marketing of cosmetic products containing these 
    substances beyond the limits and outside the conditions laid down 
    (effective date: 1983). 

    In the former Czechoslovakia, the use of phenol in cosmetics was also 
    restricted (effective date: 1971). 

    In the USA, the substance is exempted from tolerance requirements in 
    plant and animal products, when used according to good agricultural 
    practice as an inert (or occasionally active) ingredient of a pesticide 
    applied for some specified purpose (effective date: 1981 (r)).  The 
    substance may be used as a component of adhesives in articles intended 
    for use in the packaging, transporting, or holding of food (for use as 
    preservative only) (effective date: 1981 (r)). 
    Exposure limit values
    Medium    Specification    Country/          Exposure limit description                  Value         Effective      
                               organization                                                                date           
    AIR       Occupational     Australia         Threshold limit value (TWA)                 19 mg/m3, b   1983 (r)
                               Germany, Federal  Maximium worksite concentration (TWA)       19 mg/m3, b   1985 (r)
                                 Republic of     Short-term exposure limit (5-min)           38 mg/m3, c   1985 (r)
                               Hungary           Maximium allowable concentration (TWA)      5 mg/m3       1978 (r)
                                                 Short-term exposure limit (30-min)          10 mg/m3      1978 (r)
                               Japan             Maximium allowable concentration (TWA)      19 mg/m3, b   1981 (r)
                               Sweeden           Highest limit value (TWA)                   4 mg/m3 b     1985    
                                                 Short-term exposure limit (15-min TWA)      8 mg/m3       1985
                               USA (OSHA)        Permissible exposure level (TWA)            19 mg/m3, b   1974    
                               USA (ACGIH)       Threshold limit value (TWA)                 19 mg/m3, b   1984 (r)
                                                 Short-term exposure limit (TWA)             38 mg/m3      1984 (r)
                               USSR              Ceiling value                               0.3 mg/m3     1977    

    AIR       Ambient          Czechoslovakia    Maximium allowable concentrationd           
                                                 average per day                             0.01 mg/m3    1981    
                                                 average per 0.5 h                           0.01 mg/m3    1981    
                               USSR              Maximium allowable concentration            
                                                 average per day                             0.003 mg/m3   1984    
                                                 once per day                                0.01 mg/m3    1984    

    7.3 Labelling, Packaging, and Transport

    The European Community legislation requires labelling of phenol as a 
    dangerous substance using the symbol: 

    Figure 2;;;grph88_2.bmp
    The label must bear a symbol and read (effective date: 1976 (r)):

       Toxic in contact with skin and if swallowed; causes burns; keep 
       locked up and out of reach of children; after contact with skin, wash 
       immediately with plenty of fluids to be specified by the 
       manufacturer; in case of accident, or if you feel unwell, seek 
       medical advice immediately (show the label where possible). 

    Member States should also ensure that dangerous preparations are not 
    placed on the market unless their packages and fastenings and labels 
    comply with the requirements laid down (effective date: 1984). 

    The United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transportation of 
    Dangerous Goods and the International Maritime Organization classify 
    phenol (solid, molten, solutions) as a poisonous substance (Class 6.1) 
    and a substance with medium danger for packing purposes (Packing 
    Group II).  Packing methods and labels are recommended (effective 
    dates: 1982 (r) and 1977 (r), respectively). 
    The recommended label is:

    Figure 3;;;grph88_3.bmp

                                  Division 6.1

                          Poisonous (toxic) substances
                   Packing Groups: I and II Symbol (skull and
                     crossbones): black; Background: white

    In Japan, phenol is designated as deleterious by law.  Preparations of
    phenol are also to be considered as deleterious, except when the
    concentration is below 5 %.

    7.4 Waste Disposal

    In Germany, the air emissions of organic compounds in Class I, which 
    include phenol, must not exceed (as the sum of all compounds in this 
    class) a mass concentration of 20 mg/m3 at a mass flow of more than 
    0.1 kg/h.  If compounds of different classes are present, the mass 
    concentration must not exceed 30 mg/m3 (effective date: 1979 (r)). 

    In the USA, any solid waste (except domestic) that contains phenol must 
    be listed as hazardous waste, subject to handling, transport, 
    treatment, storage, and disposal requirements, unless it is found that 
    waste cannot pose a threat to human health or the environment, when 
    improperly managed (effective date: 1980).  This also applies to phenol 
    and phenolic compounds in certain specified industrial solid wastes 
    (effective date: 1981 (r)).  If phenol is a commercial chemical 
    product, it is identified as "toxic waste", subject to handling, 
    transport, treatment, storage, and disposal regulations and permit and 
    notification requirements (effective date: 1980).  An owner or operator 
    of certain specified types of hazardous waste storage, treatment, or 
    disposal facilities must install a groundwater monitoring system and 
    periodically report on the concentrations of this substance (applies to 
    all phenols) (effective date: 1980).  An owner or operator of a 
    hazardous waste incinerator must achieve 99.99 % destruction and 
    removal efficiency for the substance, if it is designated as a 
    principal organic hazardous constituent in its EPA permit (effective 
    date: 1981). 

    In the USA, the substance, including any isomers, hydrates, and 
    solutions and mixtures containing the substances, is designated as a 
    hazardous substance for the purposes of discharge under the water 
    pollution control act.  Permits are required for discharge of total 
    phenols from any point source into USA waters (effective date: 1980). 
    EPA is required to set, or has set effluent limitations and 
    pretreatment standards for 21 major industries regarding phenol 
    (effective date: 1981 (r)). 

    ACGIH (1986) Documentation of the threshold limit values and biological 
    exposure indices.  Cincinnati, American Conference of Governmental 
    Industrial Hygienists. 

    ACGIH (1989) Threshold limit values and biological exposure indices for 
    1989-1990.  Cincinnatti, American Conference of Governmental Industrial 

    CLAYTON, G.D. & CLAYTON, F.E. (1981) Patty's industrial hygiene and 
    toxicology.  Vol. 28B.  New York, John Wiley & Sons. 

    DUTCH CHEMICAL INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION (1989) Handling chemicals safely. 
    2nd ed.  Dutch Association of Safety Experts, Dutch Chemical Industry 
    Association, Dutch Safety Institute. 

    GOSSELIN, R.E., HODGE, H.C., SMITH, R.P.,& GLEASON, M.N. (1984) 
    Clinical toxicology of commercial products, 5th ed.  Baltimore, 
    Maryland, The Williams and Wilkins Company. 

    KATZ, M. (1977) Methods of air sampling and analysis, 2nd ed. 
    Washington, USA, American Public Health Association.

    SAX, N.I. (1984) Dangerous properties of industrial materials.  New 
    York, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company. 

    US NIOSH (1976) A guide to industrial respiratory protection. 3 vol. 
    Cincinnatti, Ohio, US National Institute of Occupational Safety and
    Health, Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

    US NIOSH/OSHA (1981) Occupational health guidelines for chemical
    hazards. 3 vol.  Washington, DC, US Department of Health and Human
    Services, US Department of Labor (Publication No. DHHS(NIOSH) 01-123).

    See Also:
       Toxicological Abbreviations
       Phenol (EHC 161, 1994)
       Phenol (ICSC)
       PHENOL (JECFA Evaluation)
       Phenol (PIM 412)
       Phenol (IARC Summary & Evaluation, Volume 71, 1999)