A mixture of the three isomeric cresols, o-, m-, and p-c., obtained from coal tar. Its properties are similar to those of phenol, but it is less poisonous; used as an antiseptic and disinfectant. SYN: tricresol.

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cre·sol 'krē-.sȯl, -.sōl n
1) any of three poisonous colorless crystalline or liquid isomeric phenols C7H8O that are used as disinfectants, in making phenolic resins and plasticizers, and in organic synthesis see METACRESOL, ORTHOCRESOL, PARACRESOL
2) a mixture of cresol isomers called also tricresol

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a strong antiseptic effective against many microorganisms and used mostly in soap solutions as a general disinfectant. It is sometimes used in low concentrations as a preservative in injections. Cresol solutions irritate the skin and if taken by mouth are corrosive and cause pain, nausea, and vomiting.

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cre·sol (kreґsol) a toxic liquid obtained from coal tar, containing phenol and ranging from colorless to yellow, brown, or pink. it is a corrosive mixture of three isomeric forms and is a more powerful disinfectant and antiseptic than phenol. Its primary use is for sterilizing items such as instruments, dishes, and utensils. Called also cresylic acid and tricresol.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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