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Environmental fate & pathways

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The biodegradation of o-, m-, and p-cresol was investigated in numerous studies. It was shown that cresols are biodegradable under different test conditions. Using adapted and non-adapted activated sludge as inoculum, inherent and ready biodegradation of all cresol isomers could be shown. Biodegradation of m-cresol and p-cresol also could be observed under anaerobic conditions using sludges from STPs as well as different sediment types as inoculum. Biodegradation of o-cresol under anaerobic conditions could not be observed. Tests in marine water showed degradation of p-cresol. Studies on biodegradation in sediment and soil showed that o-, m- and p-cresol can be biodegraded in both compartments.


Due to their ready biodegradability cresols are not expected to persist in the environment.