pentachlorophenol Chemical Profile 2/85
CHEMICAL NAME: Pentachlorophenol (56)
TRADE NAME(S): Dowicide 7, PCP, Penta (48)
FORMULATION(S): Pills, pellets, liquid, and concentrate. Also
blockform. Penta Concentrate contains 9.7 pound/ gallon PCP. Penta
Ready, equivalent to 5.3% technical PCP; Penta WR, equivalent to 5.0%
technical PCP (water repellent). Solution concentrates are designed
for use in formulating ready-to-use products by manufacturers; and for
use by large consumers. Usually applied to wood products after
dilution to a 5% solution with solvents such as mineral spirits, No. 2
fuel oil or kerosene (56).
TYPE: Organic fungicide
BASIC PRODUCER(S): Los Angeles Chemical Co.
4545 Ardine Street
P.O. Box 1987
South Gate, CA 90280
Vulcan Chemicals, Div. of Vulcan Materials Co.
P.O. Box 7689
Birmingham, AL 35253
Witco Chemical Corp.
520 Madison Ave.
New York, NY 10022
STATUS: General use. RPAR issued 10/18/78, comment period closed
2/12/79. Criteria possibly met or exceeded: oncogenicity,
fetotoxicity, teratogenicity. Final decision being developed (22).
PRINCIPAL USES: Wood preservative against rots, molds, soil-borne
diseases and wood-staining fungi (48). Used as a wood preservative,
protecting from fungus decay and termite or Lyctus beetle attack (56).
Long residual effects (48).
II. PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
MOLECULAR FORMULA: C6 H Cl5 O (26)
MOLECULAR WEIGHT: 266.3 (26)
PHYSICAL STATE: Colorless crystals (pure compound); dark gray
powder or flakes (technical product) (26).
ODOR: Phenolic odor (pure compound) (26)
MELTING POINT: 191 C (pure compound); 187-189 C (technical
VAPOR PRESSURE: 0.12 mmHg at 100 C (pure compound) (26)
SOLUBILITY: 20 mg/l water at 30 C (pure compound) (26)
III. HEALTH HAZARD INFORMATION
OSHA STANDARD: 0.5 mg/m3 averaged over an eight-hour work shift (14).
NIOSH RECOMMENDED LIMIT: NA
ACGIH RECOMMENDED LIMIT: TWA (Time Weighted Average) = 0.5 mg/m3;
STEL (Short Term Exposure Limit) = 1.5
mg/m3. Skin notation (15a).
A. ACUTE TOXICITY
DERMAL: A 0.04% solution can cause pain and inflammation at
point of contact. Chloracne, a skin disorder, has
been observed in workers in pentachlorophenol
manufacturing plants and wood preserving operations. Profuse
sweating and elevated temperature are symptoms of poisoning
due to prolonged contact. Excessive skin exposure has
caused human death (34g).
ORAL: LD50 = 210 mg/kg (rat) (26)
LD50 = 50-140 mg/kg (rat) (56)
INHALATION: Levels of 0.09 ppm can cause severe irritation of
the nose, throat, and lungs. Breathing dust or
particulates tainted with pentachlorophenol can give rise to
EYES: Levels of 0.09 ppm may be irritating and excessive
contact can lead to loss of sight due to cornea damage (34g).
B. SUBACUTE AND CHRONIC TOXICITY:
In feeding trials dogs and rats receiving 3.9-10 mg/kg daily for
70-196 days suffered no fatality (26).
Irritation of eyes, throat, nose and upper lungs have been
reported by individuals using pentachlorophenol as an insecticide for
periods of a few years. Chemical acne has been associated with
prolonged exposure to this compound (34g).
IV. ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS
Hazardous to fish. Extremely phytotoxic on contact. Drift
should be avoided (48).
The LC50 (48 hr) for rainbow and brown trout is 0.17 mg sodium
Sunlight will decompose pentachlorophenol to a number of toxic
V. EMERGENCY AND FIRST AID PROCEDURES
The chemical information provided below has been condensed
from original source documents, primarily from "Recognition and
Management of Pesticide Poisonings", 3rd ed. by Donald P. Morgan,
which have been footnoted. This information has been provided in
this form for your convenience and general guidance only. In
specific cases, further consultation and reference may be required
and is recommended. This information is not intended as a sub-
stitute for a more exhaustive review of the literature nor for the
judgement of a physician or other trained professional.
If poisoning is suspected, do not wait for symptoms to develop.
Contact a physician, the nearest hospital, or the nearest Poison
FREQUENT SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS OF POISONING
IRRITATION of nose, throat, eyes, and skin is the most common
symptom of exposure to PCP. Severe or protracted exposure may result
in CONTACT DERMATITIS. Intensive occupational exposure has resulted in
PROFUSE SWEATING, HEADACHE, WEAKNESS, and NAUSEA are the most
consistent presenting symptoms of systemic poisoning by absorbed PCP.
FEVER is usually present but may be minimal or absent. TACHYCARDIA,
TACHYPNEA, and PAIN in the CHEST and ABDOMEN are often prominent.
THIRST is usually intense, but may be masked by nausea and vomiting.
DECLINING MENTAL ALERTNESS may progress to stupor and/or convulsions.
Protracted exposure may result in WEIGHT LOSS from increased basal
metabolic rate (25).
SKIN CONTACT: Promptly remove contaminated clothing. Wash
affected area with soap and water for at least 5 minutes. Seek medical
attention if necessary (34g).
INGESTION: When pentachlorophenol or liquids containing
pentachlorophenol have been swallowed and the person is conscious, give
the person large quantities of water immediately. After the water has
been swallowed, try to get the person to vomit by having him touch the
back of his throat with his finger. Do not make an unconscious person
vomit. Get medical attention immediately (14).
INHALATION: Remove victim from exposure. Give artificial
respiration or oxygen as necessary. Seek medical attention (34g).
EYE CONTACT: Wash eyes immediately with water for at least 15
minutes. Seek medical attention (34g).
NOTES TO PHYSICIAN: Use emetic or gastric lavage (34g).
VI. FIRE AND EXPLOSION INFORMATION
GENERAL: Nonflammable by itself but may be found in commercial
mixtures with flammable solvents. Breaks down when heated to give off
toxic chloride fumes (34g).
Will cause rapid deterioration of rubber (48).
VIII. PROTECTIVE MEASURES
STORAGE AND HANDLING: Protect against physical damage. Store in cool,
dry, well ventilated location away from direct sunlight and sources of
ignition. Outside or detached storage is preferred (34g).
PROTECTIVE CLOTHING: Wear rubber gloves, chemical goggles and
impermeable clothing (34g).
PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT: For levels up to 0.225 ppm wear a chemical
cartridge respirator with organic vapor cartridge, full facepiece, and
a dust, mist and fume filter; a supplied-air respirator; or a
self-contained breathing apparatus. For levels up to 2.25 ppm wear the
above with full facepiece. For levels up to 13.5 ppm wear either a
powered air-purifying respirator with organic vapor cartridge, high
efficiency filter and full facepiece, or a Type C supplied-air
respirator with full facepiece operated in pressure demand, positive
pressure or continuous flow mode. For escape from a contaminated area
use either a self-contained breathing apparatus or gas mask with an
organic vapor canister and particulate filter (34g).
IX. PROCEDURES FOR SPILLS AND LEAKS
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, CALL, DAY OR NIGHT
PESTICIDE TEAM SAFETY NETWORK/CHEMTREC
Persons not wearing protective equipment and clothing should be
restricted from areas of spills until cleanup has been completed.
If pentachlorophenol is spilled, the following steps should be taken:
1. Ventilate area of spill.
2. Collect spilled material in the most convenient and safest manner
and deposit in sealed containers for reclamation or for disposal
in a secured sanitary landfill. Liquid containing
pentachlorophenol should be absorbed in vermiculite, dry sand,
earth, or a similar material.
Waste disposal method:
Pentachlorophenol may be disposed of in sealed containers in a secured
sanitary landfill (14).
X. LITERATURE CITED
14. U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute
for Occuptational Safety and Health. 1981. Occupational
health guidelines for chemical hazards. F. W. Mackinson, R.
S. Stricoff, L. J. Partridge, Jr., and A. D. Little, Inc.,
eds. DHHS (NIOSH) Publ. No. 81-123. Washington, DC.
15a. American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists. 1983.
TLVs: threshold limit values for chemical substances and
physical agents in the work environment with intended changes
for 1983-84. Cincinnati, OH. 93 pp.
22. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Pesticide
Programs. 1983. June 1983 status report on rebuttable
presumption against registration (RPAR) or special review
process, registration standards and the data call in
programs. Washington, DC. 45 pp.
25. Morgan, D.P. 1982. Recognition and management of
pesticide poisonings, 3rd ed. U. S. Environmental Protection
Agency, Washington, DC. 120 pp.
26. The Pesticide Manual: A World Compendium, 6th ed. 1979. C. R.
Worthing, ed. The British Crop Protection Council, Croydon,
England. 655 pp.
34g. New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Toxic Substances
Management. 1981. Chemical fact sheet: pentachlorophenol.
48. Harding, W.C. 1979-80. Pesticide profiles, part two: fungicides
and nematicides. Univ. Maryland, Coop. Ext. Service Bull.
283, 22 pp.
56. Farm Chemicals Handbook, 70th ed. 1984. R. T. Meister, G. L.
Berg, C. Sine, S. Meister, and J. Poplyk, eds. Meister
Publishing Co., Willoughby, OH.