Phenol is an aromatic organic compound and found in white crystalline solid form and is also available in colorless liquid. Phenol is an antiseptic and widely used in household products as a disinfector for cleaning purpose. It has a odor like sugary scent, it is also available for several health related and medical applications. In clinical applications it is used for injecting into the muscle to treat a condition namely muscle spasticity. This happens when your brain doesn’t correspond appropriately with your spinal cord and nerves. It causes your muscle to become stiff. Muscle spasticity is a situation that interrupts your capability to walk or talk. This condition is a cause of a disease like Parkinson’s disease, brain trauma or cerebral paisy. When phenol is injected into the muscle it helps limit the signal sent from your nerves to your muscle that causes contractions. This allows you to move more easily and feel less discomfort. Phenol is found to be more useful to tackle this condition especially for large muscle.
- Molecular formula: C6H6O
- Molar mass: 94.11 g/mol
- Density: 1.07 g/cm3
- Melting point: 40.5 °C
- Boiling point: 181.7 °C
- Soluble: In water
rbolic acid, hydroxybenzene , phenic acid
BRIEF DESCRIPTION AND NATURAL SOURCE
Phenol occurs naturally as tyrosine, tyrosine is an amino acid mostly found in proteins, methyl salicylate, it is type of phenol isolated from wintergreen and has a minty taste and odor. One other natural source of phenol is vanillin, used as flavoring agent in vanilla is also a phenol obtained from vanilla beans. Phenolic compounds occur naturally in fruits and wines, grapes and cranberries have highest amount of phenolic compounds. Antioxidants are derived from these fruits that can help to stop cell damage and promotes anti inflammatory conditions when consumed frequently. Some other phenols obtained from plants are thymol, derived from thyme, and eugenol, isolated from cloves.
Phenol is a particular name of carbolic acid and is member of organic hydroxyl compounds family namely phenol. It is derivative of benzene and propylene that are used to produce cumene, and cumene is further oxidized to produce cumene hydroperoxide, before separation of phenol and its products e.g. acetone. Carbolic acid was firstly used as an antiseptic to sterilize medical equipment for cleaning wounds. Phenol is used as a disinfector for toilets, floors, surfaces, and drains when mixed with reagents. It has an anti inflammatory effect in mouth wash. A type of phenol namely Butylated hydroxytoulene is used as an antioxidant in food and cosmetics. Moreover phenol is main component of phenolic adhesives which is used in wood products such as plywood and oriented strand board (OSB). Phenol can also be used in wood preservatives such as creosote.
Polycarbonate and epoxy resins are also produced by phenol, which are further used in large number of industrial applications, such as sports safety equipments, eyewear, and in food containers for coating. It is also used in electronic equipments and automobile. After industrial synthesis phenol is used for manufacturing of many different products, such as plastics, paints, textiles, aspirin, explosives, fertilizers, and paper. One other type of phenol namely hydroquinone, is used as a reduction agent in photographic developing solutions.
USES IN PHARMACOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS
- Preservative: Phenol is used as a preservative in medicals application such as it is used to preserve the vaccine to help keep bacteria from contaminating vaccine solutions.
- Disinfectant: Especially in hospital it is commonly used to disinfect the sterilize medical equipments. It disinfects and cleans the surfaces in hospitals
- Sore throat spray: Phenol is used in medical application for the production of throat sprays that can help anesthetized your throat and ease symptoms caused by sore throat.
- Cosmetics: Trichloroacetic acid a type of phenol is used in cosmetics to infiltrate through the layer of skin to get rid of old and damaged skin.
It’s another derivative butylated hydroxytoulene (BHT) is scientifically approved preservative used in cosmetics.
- Antiseptic: Soap containing phenol based compounds is often called carbolic soap. This is used as an antiseptic during surgery. Many phenol derivatives are being used as an antiseptic, one of them is n-hexylresorcinol, which is found in cough drops.
Hence phenol has many therapeutic properties.
Below are the following highlights of its benefits.
Antioxidant, anti inflammatory, antiseptic, disinfectant, preservative, oral analgesics,
SAFETY AND PRECAUTIONS
Phenol can be irritant to eyes, skin and respiratory system. When concentrated, its solution has latent to cause stern burn of the skin and mucus membranes.
Exposure to its concentrated solution can be harmful to the kidneys, liver and central nervous system.
It is recommended to flash thoroughly the skin with water when skin is exposed to high level of its concentrated solutions.
Exposure at low level with phenol in houses like mouth washes and throat lozenges are not that much harmful or toxic.
Phenol spray is unsafe for children younger than 3 years of age.