What is phenol and its impact on the human body

Phenol: what is substance, its effect on the human body

Phenol is a chemical organic material, hydrocarbon. Other names carbolic acid, hydroxybenzene. It is a natural and industrial origin. What is phenol and what is its significance in human life?

The origin of the substance chemical and physical properties

Chemical formula of phenol is c6h5oh. In appearance the substance resembles the crystals in the form of needles, transparent, with a white shade. Outdoors in the interaction with oxygen, the color becomes a light pink color. For the substance characteristic odor. Phenol smells like gouache paint.

Natural phenols are antioxidants, which in varying amounts are present in all plants. They provide color, flavor, protect the plant from harmful insects. Natural phenol useful for the human body. It contains olive oil, cocoa beans, fruits, nuts. But there are poisonous compounds such as tannin.

The chemical industry produces these substances by synthesis. They are poisonous and very toxic. Phenol is dangerous to humans, also industrial scale production significantly pollute the environment.

Physical properties:

  • normally dissolve phenol in water, alcohol, alkali;
  • has a low melting point at 40°C turns into gas;
  • in its properties resembles alcohol;
  • it has high acidity and solubility;
  • at room temperature are in the solid state;
  • the sharp smell of phenol.

How to use phenols

More than 40% of the substances used in the chemical industry to produce other organic compounds, mainly resins. Also from a synthetic fiber – nylon, nylon. The substance is used in the oil refining industry for the purification of oils, which are used in rigs and other technological objects.

The phenol used for the production of paints, plastics, composition of chemicals and pesticides. In veterinary substance on farms treat animals of agricultural value, to prevent infections.

The use of phenol in pharmaceutical industry are substantial. He is part of many drugs:

  • antiseptic;
  • painkillers;
  • antiplatelet agents (thinning the blood);
  • as a preservative for vaccines;
  • in cosmetics formulations for chemical peels.

Genetic engineering is used phenol to clean the DNA and separating it from the cell.

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Toxic effect of phenol

Phenol is a poison. For its toxicity, the compound is classified to the 2nd class of hazard. This means that it is highly hazardous to the environment. The degree of impact on living organisms is high. The substance can cause serious damage to the ecological system. The minimum period of recovery after the action of phenol is at least 30 years, provided the total elimination of the pollution source.

Synthetic phenol effect on the human body negatively. The toxic effect of the compound on organs and systems:

  1. Inhalation or ingestion affects the mucous membranes of the digestive tract, upper respiratory tract, eyes.
  2. In contact with the skin produces a burn with phenol.
  3. If deep penetration causes tissue necrosis.
  4. Has a pronounced toxic effects on internal organs. When damage to the kidneys causing pyelonephritis, destroys the structure of red blood cells, which leads to oxygen starvation. Can cause allergic dermatitis.
  5. Inhalation of phenol in high concentrations disrupted brain activity, can lead to respiratory failure.

The mechanism of toxic action of phenols is to change the structure of the cells and, consequently, its functioning. The most susceptible to toxic substances, the neurons (nerve cells).

Maximum permissible concentration (MPC phenol):

  • the maximum single dose in the atmosphere to populated areas is 0.01 mg/m3, which is kept in the air for half an hour;
  • the average daily dose in the atmosphere to populated areas is 0,003 mg/m3;
  • the lethal dose when ingested for adults is from 1 to 10 g, for children from 0.05 to 0.5 g.

The symptoms of phenol poisoning

The dangers of phenol on living organism have been proven. In contact with skin or mucous membranes, the compound is rapidly absorbed, overcomes hematogenous barrier and blood spreads throughout the body.

The first effects of the poison reacts the brain. Symptoms of poisoning in humans:

  • Psyche. Initially, the patient feels easy excitement, which lasts briefly and is replaced by irritation. Then comes the apathy, indifference to surroundings a person is in a depressed condition.
  • Nervous system. Growing weakness, lethargy, fatigue. Lubricated tactile sensitivity, but the sensitivity to light and sounds worse. The victim feels nausea that is not associated with the digestive system. There is a giddiness, a headache becomes more intense. Severe poisoning may result in convulsions and unconscious state.
  • Skin. The skin becomes pale and cold to the touch, when a serious condition takes on a blue tint.
  • Respiratory organs. When hitting even small doses in the human body shortness of breath and rapid breathing. Due to irritation of the nasal mucosa, the victim of incessant sneezing. If poisoning moderate severity develops cough and spastic contractions of the larynx. In severe cases, increases the risk of spasm of the trachea and bronchi and, consequently, asphyxia, leading to death.
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Circumstances in which can cause poisoning – a violation of safety rules when working with particularly hazardous substances, overdose of medications, household poisoning with detergents and cleaning products, in an accident.

If the house furniture is of low quality, toys that does not meet international safety standards, the walls are painted with paint that was not intended for these purposes, the outgoing pair of phenol a person inhales constantly. In this case develops chronic poisoning. Its main symptom is chronic fatigue syndrome.

Principles of first aid

The first thing to do is to interrupt the contact of a person with poison source.

Victim taken out of the room into the fresh air, to unbutton buttons, fasteners, zippers, to better ensure the access of oxygen.

If phenol solution gets on your clothing, remove it immediately. Affected skin and mucous membranes of the eyes repeatedly and rinse thoroughly with running water.

Categorically it is impossible to process the skin oils, ointments, alcohol, edible fat.

In contact with phenol in the oral cavity nothing to swallow, and immediately rinse in your mouth for 10 minutes. If the substance managed to get into the stomach, you can drink the sorbent with a glass of water:

  • activated charcoal or white charcoal;
  • intersorb;
  • enterosgel;
  • sorbex;
  • carbol;
  • POLYSORB;
  • Lactofiltrum.

It is impossible to perform gastric lavage, as this procedure will increase the degree of the burn and increase the area of mucosal lesions.

The antidote of phenol solution of calcium gluconate for intravenous injection. If poisoning of any degree the severity of the victim transported to the hospital for observation and treatment.

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Bring the phenol from the body in the hospital in severe poisoning can such methods:

  1. Hemosorption – blood purification with a special sorbent that binds molecules of toxic substances. Blood is cleaned by running in a special apparatus.
  2. Detoxification therapy – intravenous fluids, which dilute the concentration of a substance in the blood and contribute to its natural excretion from the body (via the kidneys).
  3. Hemodialysis is indicated in severe cases where there is a potential threat to life. The procedure is performed using the apparatus «artificial kidney» where the blood passes through a special membrane and leaves the molecules of toxic substances. In the body the blood is returned clean and full of useful trace elements.

Phenol is a synthetic, toxic substance, dangerous to humans. Even the connection of natural origin can cause injury. To avoid poisoning, you need a responsible attitude to work in manufacturing where there is a risk of contact with the poison. When shopping be interested in the product. Bad smell of plastic products should be alerted. In the use of medicinal preparations containing phenol to comply with the prescribed dosage.

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