19 August 2022 Bulletin

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Cresols are organic compounds with the molecular formula C7H8O. They are a widely occurring natural and manufactured group of aromatic organic compounds, which are categorised as phenols (sometimes called phenolics). Depending on the temperature, cresols can be solid or liquid because they have melting points not far from room temperature. Like other types of phenols, they are slowly oxidised by long exposure to air and the impurities often give cresols a yellowish to brownish red tint. Cresols have an odour characteristic to that of other simple phenols, reminiscent to some of a “coal tar” smell. The name creosol reflects their structure, being phenols, and their traditional source, creosote. [1] There are three forms of cresols that differ slightly in their chemical structure: ortho-cresol (o-cresol), meta-cresol (m-cresol, and para-cresol (p-cresol). These forms occur separately or as a mixture. [2]

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