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EC number: 284-892-9
CAS number: 84989-04-8
The fraction of tar acid rich in 3- and 4-methylphenol, recovered by distillation of low-temperature coal tar crude tar acids.
In vitro cell transformation and tumour promotion in mouse cells: inconclusive (o-cresol)In vivo 2 year feeding study with rat and mouse: only equivocal evidence of carcingenicity (p-/m-cresol mixture)
Carcingenicity of cresols can not undisputable be evaluated, because
there are only inconclusive and equivocal study results available.
There is no carcinogenicity bioassay or other chronic study
available to assess the carcinogenic potential of cresols.
From tumour promotion studies in mice there are some indications
that cresols may act as promotor (Boutwell and Bosch 1959). In cell
transformation assays in vitro the transforming activity of o-cresol was
evaluated as inconclusive in the presence of a metabolic activation
system (CMA 1989) whereas without a metabolic activation system no
activity was detected (Pepper, Hamilton and Scheetz 1981).
In 2007, US Health and Human Services published a Toxicity and
Carcinogenicity Study in which only male rats or only female mice were
fed m/p-cresol mixture (60:40) over a period of two years without
interim kill (US Department of Health and Human services,
2007). Neither absolute/relative organ weights nor blood biochemistry
data were reported so far. The report contains only histopathological
In the two studies, that were performed with rats,
male F344/N rats received 0, 1500, 5000, and 15000 ppm m-/p-cresol daily
for 105 weeks in the diet. Under the condition of these 2-year studies,
there was equivocal evidence of carcinogenic activity on m-/p-cresol
based on the 4/50 male rats with renal tubular adenomas. The incidence
of these neoplasms was not significant but exceeded the historical
control data of the laboratory for feeding studies (1/297).
In the mouse study female B6C3F1 mice received in 0, 1000, 3000,
10000 ppm of the m-/p-cresol mixture for 106-107 weeks in the diet.
Under the conditions of these 2-year studies there was some evidence of
carcinogenic activity of m-/p-cresol mixture based on the increased
incidence of fore stomach squamous cell papillomas. However, there is no
human counterpart for the rodent fore stomach (Proctor 2007). Therefore,
the fore stomach squamous cell paplillomas are of minor significance for
the human situation. In addition, due to the corrosive property of
cresols, chronic irritation is expected to be the mode of action.
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