I’ve blogged before about reducing your child’s toxic load to help alleviate symptoms of autism, to cut the risk of autism in subsequent children and to have a healthier home, and today I’m going to talk about one particular chemical and toxin, phenol.
What is phenol?
Phenol, or carbolic acid, is a chemical that both occurs naturally and that can be manufactured. It ranges from being a colorless liquid to being a white crystalline solid and has a distinct sickly sweet or “tarry” smell which is often associated with the smell of hospitals.
Phenol is used in many different products. It is used to make phenolic resins which are used in industries like the automotive, plywood, appliance, nylon and construction industries, and it is also an ingredient in disinfectants like Lysol, antiseptics, cleaning products, medicines, mouthwashes, lozenges and ear and nose drops.
Phenol can also be found in food, as gallic acid and malvin.
Dangers associated with Phenol exposure
There are many dangers associated with dermal (skin) or oral (ingesting it) exposure to phenol, and also breathing it in. These dangers and health risks include skin irritation, poisoning resulting in muscle weakness, tremors, paralysis and even respiratory arrest, liver and kidney damage, cardiac toxicity (damage to the heart) and lung damage.
But what has all this got to do with autism?