Phenol exposure may cause moderate to severe irritation and other health problems. Phenol is a crystalline, colorless to light-pink solid with a pleasant, pungent smell. Phenol’s main risk is that it may quickly enter the skin and cause serious burns. Phenol exposure may be absorbed via very tiny patches of skin in toxic and even lethal doses. Skin burns may not hurt because of the local anesthetic qualities of the substance. If phenol is ingested, breathed, or absorbed via the skin, it may be deadly. Because phenol may permeate leather, caution should be taken to avoid stepping in spills.

Moreover, phenol is utilized in a variety of sectors. It is utilized in medicine as a disinfectant, antiseptic, and slimicide, as well as in the production of a variety of goods. Phenol exposure may endanger workers. The amount of injury, however, is determined by the duration, dosage, and task performed.


Phenol exposure may irritate the throat, nose, eyes, skin and neurological system. Some of the symptoms of phenol exposure includes:

  • Weakness
  • Muscle soreness
  • Weariness
  • Sluggishness
  • Weight loss

Severe exposure to phenol might exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Kidney damage
  • Liver problem
  • Twitching
  • Convulsion
  • Tremor
  • Skin burns


Before starting work and on a regular basis after that, the following are advised for frequent or possibly excessive exposure.

  • Lung function test

The following steps are advised if symptoms appear if overexposure is thought to be the cause.

  • After severe overexposure, consider chest x-ray testing.
  • Blood test to determine the amount of blood methemoglobin.
  • Testing for kidney and liver function.
  • Pay attention to and note any irregular cardiac rhythms.
  • Examination and monitoring of the neurological system.


In cases of phenol exposure, quickly remove any contaminated garments, then irrigate or wipe exposed areas with low-molecular-weight polyethylene glycol, which may be diluted to 50% for simpler application. The course of treatment should be maintained until no phenol odor is present.

Moreover, glycerine solution may be used in place of PEG if it is not readily accessible. In the absence of any of these, irrigation with a high-density shower will decrease phenol absorption, while less water will just dilute the phenol and increase the exposure area.

After using the high-pressure shower, the skin should be cleansed for at least 15 minutes with soap and water. To reduce phenol absorption, decontamination must start as soon as feasible.

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