Final report on the safety assessment of sodium p-chloro-m-cresol, p-chloro-m-cresol, chlorothymol, mixed cresols, m-cresol, o-cresol, p-cresol, isopropyl cresols, thymol, o-cymen-5-ol, and carvacrol

International Journal of Toxicology
Alan Andersen


Sodium p-Chloro-m-Cresol, p-Chloro-m-Cresol (PCMC), Mixed Cresols, m-Cresol, o-Cresol, p-Cresol, Isopropyl Cresols, Thymol, Chlorothymol, o-Cymen-5-ol, and Carvacrol are substituted phenols used as cosmetic biocides/preservatives and/or fragrance ingredients. Only PCMC, Thymol, and o-Cymen-5-ol are reported to be in current use, with the highest concentration of use at 0.5% for o-Cymen-5-ol in perfumes. The use of PCMC in cosmetics is restricted in Europe and Japan. Cresols can be absorbed through skin, the respiratory tract, and the digestive tract; metabolized by the liver; and excreted by the kidney as glucuronide and sulfate metabolites. Several of these cresols increase the dermal penetration of other agents, including azidothymidine. In acute oral toxicity studies, LD50 values were in the 200 to 5000 mg/kg day-1 range across several species. In short-term studies in rats and mice, an o-Cresol, m-Cresol, p-Cresol or m-Cresol/p-Cresol mixture at 30,000 ppm in the diet produced increases in liver and kidney weights, deficits in liver function, bone marrow hypocellularity, irritation to the gastrointestinal tract and nasal epithelia, and atrophy of female reproductive organs. The no observed effect levels (NOEL) of o-Cresol w...Continue Reading


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