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NIOSH Skin Notation Profiles: Phenol


April 2011
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2011-136
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Phenol is potentially capable of causing both systemic toxicity and direct adverse effects on the skin following dermal exposure. A critical review of available data indicates that contact of a significant area of skin with subjectively low concentrations of phenol (5–6%) may be extremely hazardous and life-threatening [ATSDR 2008]. Undiluted phenol or solutions containing more than 3% phenol are capable of causing skin corrosion, whereas diluted solutions (1 to 3% phenol) are irritating to the skin [European Parliament 2008]. NIOSH has designated phenol with the following SK assignment: SK: SYS (FATAL)-DIR (COR). Table 1 provide an overview of the critical effects and data considered in the development of this SK assignment. The following section provides additional detail about the potential health hazards of skin contact with phenol and the rationale behind the SK assignment.

NIOSH Skin Notation Profiles: Phenol [PDF – 651.89 KB]