Phenolic compounds are active against vegetative bacteria, including mycobacteria, fungi and lipid-containing viruses. They are not active against spores and show variable use against nonlipid viruses. Phenolic compounds are commonly used as antiseptics (e.g., triclosan and chloroxylenol); however, in laboratory-based studies, bacteria made resistant to low concentrations of triclosan also show resistance to certain types of antibiotics.
Note: Phenolic compounds are not recommended for use on food contact surfaces and around areas with young children. They can be absorbed by rubber and penetrate the skin. Often, they have an unpleasant odor (e.g., Amphyl, Vesphene II).