Commercial phenol is a liquid that evaporates slower than water. It is described as having a distinct odor that is sickeningly sweet and tarry. When pure, phenol is a colorless-to-white solid and is both manufactured and produced naturally.
Phenol is used to make plastics and found in disinfectant in household cleaning products and consumer products like mouth wash and throat sprays.
Phenol is released into the environment from manufacturers and the disposal of products which contaminates the soil and groundwater. Automobile exhaust, cigarette smoke and wood burning release phenol into the air.
Long term exposure to phenol at work has been associated with cardiovascular disease but cannot be cited as the sole source as workers were also exposed to other chemicals at the same time. Drinking liquids containing concentrated phenol can cause gastrointestinal damage and even death.
For more information on phenol go to: