Acaroin: Components, What Is It For, Is It Toxic?

The acaroína , also known as “fluid Manchester”, “zotal” and “creosote”, is a bactericidal disinfectant and natural derived from distillation of wood. Its main component is phenol, which is caused by the oxidation of benzene.

Due to the fact that it is a powerful compound, it is mainly used in the cleaning of industries, factories, workshops, animal enclosures or in places where the growth of fungi and bacteria proliferate. However, with proper handling, it can also be used in homes and schools.

According to historical records, it is estimated that acaroin was invented between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, as an alternative for cleaning hospitals and other health facilities. Eventually, thanks to its disinfecting effects, use spread to schools, churches, and large businesses.

While it represents a major component for most of the entire industry, it also serves as the basis for the manufacture of medical preparations and agrochemicals.


The invention of this liquid is attributed to the Englishman William Pearson, at the end of the 19th century or the beginning of the 20th century, who took carbolic acid as its base, discovered in 1834 by Friedrich Ferdinand Runge.

With the passage of time, this product became known as “creolin”, which was originally its trade name.

The popularity of creolin spread to the rest of Europe and the world. Even in Spain it is known as “zotal” and “Manchester fluid” in Argentina.

Although the formula may vary a bit depending on the needs of the consumers as well as the geographical context, the product is basically the same.


The main compounds of acaroin are:

-Phenol, also known as carbolic acid.

-Cresol or cresylic acid.

Depending on the manufacturing process, both compounds are derived from the dry distillation of wood. In it, vapors are released from which turpentine or vegetable turpentine is extracted.

Thanks to the subsequent treatment, a dark and slightly dense substance is obtained, which will later become creolin.

According to experts, it is recommended that the concentration of the aforementioned components be kept at 15% so that the product can be used without problems in any room.

The ideal in this case is that it be diluted in water to reduce the risks during handling.


Phenol is an element also known as carbolic acid and carbolic acid, whose color can be white or crystalline, depending on whether it is at room temperature.

This acid is used mainly for the production of resins, preparation of explosives, oral hygiene products, synthetic fibers and as a base for disinfectants, bactericides, antiseptics and fungicides used in any type of industry .

Because it is a powerful component, care must be taken when handling it as it can be life threatening. Otherwise, it can cause the following side effects:


-Intestinal damage (when digested).

-Skin lesions.

-Irritations in the respiratory tract.

-Lung and heart problems.

What is it for?

Some uses of acaroin can be mentioned:

-Disinfectant for floors, bathrooms, factories, workshops and other areas where the growth of fungi and bacteria can proliferate.

-Cleaning environments with high levels of dirt.

-In the veterinary industry it is used as an insecticide and parasiticide of cows and horses as a treatment against fungi. In certain cases, it is also effective in caring for their superficial wounds.

-Helps the care of large machinery thanks to the fact that it is a powerful degreaser.

-In addition, it is estimated that thanks to its compounds, acaroin is used to manufacture plastics, resins, explosives and synthetic fibers such as nylon.

-According to some Internet users, creolin is an aid to hair growth, since it supposedly speeds up the process and strengthens the hair cuticle.

However, some specialists do not recommend this use. Instead, they urge the taking of healthier routes such as changing a balanced diet, and the consumption of vitamins and other natural supplements.

-Finally, it is believed that it was used during the Nazi concentration camps during World War II, as the main substance for making the so-called “lethal injections.”

Is it toxic?

Due to phenol, the main compound in this liquid, acaroin is corrosive, flammable, and potentially toxic if consumed or inhaled. In view of this, the effects of this substance are described:

-It can cause malformations in the fetus if it comes into contact with pregnant women.

-According to medical specialists, constant handling with this product can cause cancer.

-There are recent studies that indicate that acaroin can cause lacerations and irritation to the skin. That is why it is not recommended to apply directly to the epidermis.

-Although one of its most frequent uses is related to hair growth, it is believed that there is no research to support this effect.

-By mixed with other toxic wastes such as chlorine, light contact can penetrate the skin and cause irritation and other serious injuries (even internal).

First aid

A series of first aid is recommended in case of an emergency:

-If the product got into the eyes: rinse with plenty of water and keep the eyes open to ensure that the liquid has been completely removed. Otherwise, go to the nearest medical center.

-In case of making contact with large areas of skin: it is suggested to remove clothing and all accessories that have had contact with the liquid. Later, clean the area with plenty of water.

-In ingestion: the induction of vomiting should be avoided, instead it is suggested to consume two large glasses of water and transfer the person to a medical center.

-If inhalation occurs: creolin gases are strong, penetrating and can affect the respiratory system . In this case, the person should be moved to an open and unobstructed area so that they can breathe more easily. If the situation does not improve, take her to a medical center.


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