Jump to navigation Jump to search


A yellowish oil with a phenolic odor that is a constituent of coal tar creosote. Cresol is used as a parasiticide and a Disinfectant (Lysol®). It is also used in photographic developers.

Synonyms and Related Terms

cresylic acid; cresylol; tricresol; methylphenol; hydroxymethylbenzene; 3-cresol; 3-m-hydroxytoluene; m-cresylic acid;1-hydroxy-3-methylbenzene; m-oxytoluene;

Chemical structure



  • Irritating to skin, eyes and nose.
  • Toxic by ingestion and inhalation.
  • Hygroscopic.
  • Light sensitive. Air sensitive.
  • Corrosive.
  • Flash point = 82 C ( 179.60 F)
  • Fisher Scientific: SDS
  • EPA lists cresol and cresylic acid as hazardous waste due to toxicity; concentrations over 10% must be disposed of appropriately

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in water. Miscible in ethanol, benzene, ether, glycerol and alkalis.

Composition CH3C6H4OH
CAS 1319-77-3
Density 1.03 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt.=108.14
Refractive Index 1.542 (m-cresol)
Boiling Point 195-205 C

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 251
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983
  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, Robert Weast (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, v. 61, 1980 Comment: ref. index=1.542 (m-cresol)