A chlorinated phenolic compound, a white crystalline solid used mainly as a wood preservative, also as a molluscicide for the intermediate snail hosts of schistosomiasis and an herbicide. Commercial-grade pentachlorophenol usually contains dioxin and other highly toxic organochlorine contaminants. It is absorbed cutaneously and is toxic and irritant, causing mucosal irritation and severe systemic effects, including cardiovascular collapse that can be fatal. It is a potential human carcinogen.
Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.