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Description of key information

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Additional information

Absorption:

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

Distribution:

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

Metabolism:

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).

Excretion:

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).