3-Cresol Health Effects
- Metabolism: Cresols can be absorbed following inhalation, oral, and dermal exposure. Once in the body they can distribute rapidly into many organs and tissues. Cresols undergo oxidative metabolism in the liver and are rapidly eliminated, mostly in the urine, as sulfate or glucuronide conjugates. The activation of cresols by oxidation involves tyrosinase and thyroid peroxidase, forming a reactive quinone methide. Experiments with recombinant P-450s demonstrated cresol metabolism was mediated by several P-450s including CYP2D6, 2C19, 1A2, 1A1, and 2E1. (L528, A197, L529, A198)
- Uses/Sources: Cresols are used to as solvents, disinfectants and deodorizers, as well as to make other chemicals. They may be formed normally in the body from other compounds. Cresols are found in many foods and in wood and tobacco smoke, crude oil, coal tar, and in chemical mixtures used as wood preservatives. Small organisms in soil and water produce cresols when they break down materials in the environment. Breathing air containing cresols is the primary source of exposure. Exposure may also result from drinking contaminated water, eating contaminated food and coming into contact with liquids containing cresols. (L528)
- Health Effects: Acute exposure to cholinesterase inhibitors can cause a cholinergic crisis characterized by severe nausea/vomiting, salivation, sweating, bradycardia, hypotension, collapse, and convulsions. Increasing muscle weakness is a possibility and may result in death if respiratory muscles are involved. Accumulation of ACh at motor nerves causes overstimulation of nicotinic expression at the neuromuscular junction. When this occurs symptoms such as muscle weakness, fatigue, muscle cramps, fasciculation, and paralysis can be seen. When there is an accumulation of ACh at autonomic ganglia this causes overstimulation of nicotinic expression in the sympathetic system. Symptoms associated with this are hypertension, and hypoglycemia. Overstimulation of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the central nervous system, due to accumulation of ACh, results in anxiety, headache, convulsions, ataxia, depression of respiration and circulation, tremor, general weakness, and potentially coma. When there is expression of muscarinic overstimulation due to excess acetylcholine at muscarinic acetylcholine receptors symptoms of visual disturbances, tightness in chest, wheezing due to bronchoconstriction, increased bronchial secretions, increased salivation, lacrimation, sweating, peristalsis, and urination can occur. Certain reproductive effects in fertility, growth, and development for males and females have been linked specifically to organophosphate pesticide exposure. Most of the research on reproductive effects has been conducted on farmers working with pesticides and insecticdes in rural areas. In females menstrual cycle disturbances, longer pregnancies, spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, and some developmental effects in offspring have been linked to organophosphate pesticide exposure. Prenatal exposure has been linked to impaired fetal growth and development. Neurotoxic effects have also been linked to poisoning with OP pesticides causing four neurotoxic effects in humans: cholinergic syndrome, intermediate syndrome, organophosphate-induced delayed polyneuropathy (OPIDP), and chronic organophosphate-induced neuropsychiatric disorder (COPIND). These syndromes result after acute and chronic exposure to OP pesticides.
- Symptoms: Ingestion of cresols results in burning of the mouth and throat, abdominal pain, and vomiting. Inhalation or dermal exposure to cresols can produce irritation and corrosion at the site of contact. (L482)
- Treatment: If the compound has been ingested, rapid gastric lavage should be performed using 5% sodium bicarbonate. For skin contact, the skin should be washed with soap and water. If the compound has entered the eyes, they should be washed with large quantities of isotonic saline or water. In serious cases, atropine and/or pralidoxime should be administered. Anti-cholinergic drugs work to counteract the effects of excess acetylcholine and reactivate AChE. Atropine can be used as an antidote in conjunction with pralidoxime or other pyridinium oximes (such as trimedoxime or obidoxime), though the use of '-oximes' has been found to be of no benefit, or possibly harmful, in at least two meta-analyses. Atropine is a muscarinic antagonist, and thus blocks the action of acetylcholine peripherally.
- Route of Exposure: Oral (L528) ; inhalation (L528) ; dermal (L528)
- Carcinogenicity: No indication of carcinogenicity to humans (not listed by IARC).
- Toxicity: LD50: 242 mg/kg (Oral, Rat) (T13) LD50: 168 mg/kg (Intraperitoneal, Mouse) (T13) LD50: 2050 mg/kg (Dermal, Rabbit) (T13)
- Minimum Risk Level: Intermediate Oral: 0.1 mg/kg/day (L134) Chronic Oral: 0.1 mg/kg/day (L134)
Mechanism of Action
|Target Name||Mechanism of Action||References|
Transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily A member 1
Prostaglandin G/H synthase 1
Prostaglandin G/H synthase 2
|m-Cresol inhibits prostaglandin G/H synthases, potentially affecting the cardiovascular system by suppressing blood clot formation and leading to tissue hemorrhage. (A265)||