Pollutant Information: Pentachlorophenol 

About Pentachlorophenol

Category: Air pollutants

Pentachlorophenol (PCP) is used as a biocide, and is effective in destroying insect eggs. It is used in the timber and textile industries. Pentachlorophenol is associated with both acute and chronic effects on human health through inhalation. Acute effects can lead to eye irritation as well as liver, blood and neurological effects. Chronic exposure can result in effects on the respiratory tract, immune system, liver, kidneys, blood as well as the eyes and nose. Emissions from the textile industry primarily arise from volatilisation during application as a cotton preservative. The largest percentage contribution to the total PCP emission arises from wood that has been previously treated with PCP, with emissions continuing to occur as that PCP is slowly volatilised. This source accounts for 99.99% of the 2015 total PCP emission. PCP is also used in the agricultural sector as the active ingredient in disinfecting wooden trays used in mushroom farming.

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Time series graph


Notable events

Start year End year Sector Information Impact
1990 2015 Wood processing Reduction in the use of PcP for wood preservation Decrease in emissions