Structure of o-phenylphenol
CAS Number: 90-43-7

o-Phenylphenol is used as a disinfectant by healthcare facilities, schools, and various businesses.  It may be added as a preservative to some products, such as paints and leather.  o-Phenylphenol is also used on some citrus fruit and pears to control fungus, although this use has declined considerably in recent years.

Fact Sheet

o-Phenylphenol is found in

  • Commercial disinfectants used in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, veterinary clinics, barber shops, agricultural operations, and other industries.
  • Other items, such as:
      • Some paints, adhesives, leather, and textiles, as a preservative.
      • Some beverage cans.
      • The surface of some citrus fruits and pears, in small amounts from agricultural fungicide application.
      • Some freshly cut wood treated for fungus.
      • A few household pest control products with added disinfectant.
      • A few personal care products, such as cleanser for sensitive skin.

Possible health concerns of o-phenylphenol

  • Might have an effect on the body’s natural hormones.
  • May increase cancer risk.

Possible ways to reduce exposure to o-phenylphenol

The use of o-phenylphenol has been declining and exposures for most people are expected to be very low.  If you think you might be exposed to o-phenylphenol in the ways listed above, here are some actions you can take:

  • Wash your hands regularly, especially before eating or preparing food.
  • Wash all citrus fruit and pears before eating.
  • Clean your floors regularly and use a damp cloth to dust, because o-phenylphenol might be found in dust.

Biomonitoring California Information

Documents, Presentations, and Publications: 

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