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General Description

  • Synonyms: 1,3-Benzenediol; m-Benzenediol; 1,3-Dihydroxybenzene; m-Dihydroxybenzene; 3-Hydroxyphenol; m-Hydroxyphenol; Resorcine
  • OSHA IMIS Code Number: 2221
  • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 108-46-3
  • NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: VG9625000
  • Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Emergency Response Guidebook: 2876 153
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Resorcinol: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

Exposure Limits

  • American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 10 ppm, 45 mg/m3 TWA; 20 ppm, 90 mg/m3 STEL; Appendix A4 - Not Classifiable as a Human Carcinogen
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 10 ppm, 45 mg/m3 TWA, 20 ppm, 90 mg/m3 STEL

Health Factors

  • Potential Symptoms: Irritation of eyes, skin, nose, throat, upper respiratory system; methemoglobinemia, cyanosis, confusion, convulsions; restlessness, bluish skin, increased heart rate, cough, sore throat, dyspnea (breathing difficulty); dizziness, drowsiness, hypothermia, hematuria (blood in urine), green urine; abdominal pain, nausea; spleen, liver, kidney changes; dermatitis; metabolic acidosis; skin absorption.
  • Health Effects: Irritation - Eye, Nose, Throat, Skin---Moderate (HE15); Cumulative systemic toxicity (HE3); Mutagen (HE2)
  • Affected Organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system, cardiovascular system, CNS, blood, spleen, liver, kidneys
  • Notes:
    1. Resorcinol is an authorized denaturant for specially denatured alcohol (27 CFR 21.151).
    2. Resorcinol can be absorbed through the skin. Urinary excretion of resorcinol as a glucuronide or sulfate conjugate in three volunteers given topical resorcinol (12 mg/kg/day for 6 days) ranged from 0.47% to 2.87% of the applied dose per 24 hr. No unconjugated resorcinol was found in the urine (or plasma) of these subjects.
    3. Details of symptoms occurring after an oral intoxication are described in the case of a pharmacy error that resulted in the substitution of resorcinol (50 g) for glucose intended for a glucose tolerance test.
    4. Medical uses of resorcinol include the topical treatment of skin conditions (e.g., acne, psoriasis, eczema, corns, and warts); component of biological adhesives and chemical peel formulations. It also is used in hair dyes.
  • Literature Basis:
    • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Resorcinol.
    • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Resorcinol.
    • Cassano, N., Alessandrini, G., Mastrolonardo, M. and Vena, G.A.: Peeling agents: toxicological and allergological aspects. J. Eur. Acad. Dermatol. Venereol. 13(1): 14-23, 1999.
    • Duran, B., Gursoy, S., Cetin, M., Demirkoprulu, N., Demirel, Y. and Gurelik, B.: The oral toxicity of resorcinol during pregnancy: a case report. J. Toxicol. Clin. Toxicol. 42(5): 663-666, 2004.
    • Hahn, S., Kielhorn, J., Koppenhöfer, J., Wibbertmann, A. and Mangelsdorf, I.: Concise International Chemical Assessment Document 71 Resorcinol.
    • Levin, C.Y. and Maibach, H.: Exogenous ochronosis. An update on clinical features, causative agents and treatment options. Am. J. Clin. Dermatol. 2(4): 213-217, 2001.
    • No authors listed: Resorcinol. IARC Monogr. Eval. Carcinog. Risks Hum. 71(Pt. 3): 1119-1131, 1999.
    • No authors: Toxicology and carcinogenesis studies of resorcinol (CAS No. 108-46-3) in F344 rats and B6C3F1 mice (gavage studies). Natl. Toxicol. Program Tech. Rep. Ser. 403: 1-234, 1992.
    • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Resorcinol. In, Sittig?s Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 2. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 2000-2002.
    • Yeung, D., Kantor, S., Nacht, S. and Gans, E.H.: Percutaneous absorption, blood levels, and urinary excretion of resorcinol applied topically in humans. Int. J. Dermatol. 22(5): 321-324, 1983.
  • Date Last Revised: 01/19/2007

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):
  • OSHA Versatile Sampler (OVS-7) - 13 mm XAD-7 tube (270/140 mg sections, 20/60 mesh) with Glass Fiber Filter enclosed
  • maximum volume: 60 Liters
  • maximum flow rate: 1.0 L/min
  • current analytical method: Gas Chromatography; GC/FID
  • method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA PV2053)
  • method classification: Partially Validated

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