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Please be aware that this old REACH registration data factsheet is no longer maintained; it remains frozen as of 19th May 2023.

The new ECHA CHEM database has been released by ECHA, and it now contains all REACH registration data. There are more details on the transition of ECHA's published data to ECHA CHEM here.

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All cresol isomers are absorbed across the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract and through the intact skin (Morinaga 2004, WHO 1995).


Limited data indicate that cresols are widely distributed throughout the body after uptake.


Cresols are mainly conjugated with glucuronic acid and inorganic sulfate and excreted as conjugates with the urine. Minor pathways for m- and p-cresol include hydroxylation of the benzene ring. In addition to urinary excretion, cresols are excreted in the bile, but most part undergo enterohepatic circulation (WHO 1995).

For p-cresol, side-chain oxidation to p-hydroxy benzoic acid (Bray et al 1950) and, in vitro, oxidation to a reactive quinone methide intermediate was found in the rat liver slices (Thompson et al 1996). In addition, p-cresol is an endogenous product for protein breakdown in humans (WHO 1995).


Significant amounts of o-cresol are excreted in the bile but most of it is re-absorbed from the intestine. The main route of excretion is renal elimination (WHO 1995).