Para Nitrophenol also known as 4- nitrophenol or p- nitrophenol or 4- hydroxynitrobenzene is primarily a phenolic compound, which has a nitro group placed at the position opposite to hydroxyl group. The compound is a colorless or light yellow solid having no odor. P- nitrophenol is stable at room temperature; however, it turns a reddish color when exposed to direct sunlight. When reacted with other phenolic substances, p- nitrophenol turns a bright yellow color. Owing to this property, p- nitrophenol is used as a pH indicator in various chemical reactions. On acute exposure to this compound, reactions like cyanosis, nausea, drowsiness and headaches are caused in humans. In addition, if the compound encounters skin for prolonged periods of time, allergic reactions may occur.
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Para nitrophenol is employed in the production of insecticides, fungicides, dyes etc… In addition, p-nitrophenol is used in the manufacturing of various drugs and in the darkening of leather. Para nitrophenol is an organophosphorous insecticide and is used on specific crops including cotton, corn, wheat, soybeans and rice. Para nitrophenol is used to a wide extent in the manufacture of specifically methyl parathion and ethyl parathion insecticides. Additionally, the synthesis of paracetamol is done with the help of p- nitrophenol.
The rising demand for pesticides and insecticides is the main driver for the p-nitrophenol market. Pesticides are needed globally in order to tackle the mosquito problem and the fruit fly problem that affects agricultural practice, among others. Agriculture is the main end-user industry driving this market. Recent studies have proved that if not used with caution it can cause serious health issues to human population and animals as well. P- nitrophenol itself is less toxic but when inhaled or ingested causes irritation to eyes and drowsiness, nausea and cyanosis. When exposed to the chemical for too long cancer risk could increase. Most countries have not banned the use of this insecticide, but have put forward regulations for the safe usage of the product in the public environment so as not to cause any inconvenience to people. Para nitrophenol does not cause any major harmful effects to the environment and is decomposed relatively easily as compared to other insecticides and pesticides. Bioaccumulation of this compound rarely occurs. At the same time, the U.S. and the EU have encouraged cautious use of pesticides, insecticides and drugs that have p- nitrophenol as one of their main ingredients.
The key market segments include Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, and Rest of the World. Asia Pacific has the highest demand for p- nitrophenol especially countries like India and China owing to their booming agricultural sector. The U.S., being one of the biggest manufacturers of P- nitrophenol, has huge demand for the chemical. P- nitrophenol was off the market in Europe for a while owing to its ill effects but has been recently reintroduced into the European market by public demand. Due to its pesticidal and insecticidal properties, most countries have stringent regulations about its use in areas that are heavily populated, but it can be used with extreme caution to get rid of pest infestation.
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A few of the companies that manufacture p- nitrophenol include Dow AgroSciences India Pvt. Ltd., Paramount Pesticides Ltd. Suven Life Sciences, Ashu Organics Pvt. Ltd. and Hema Pharmaceuticals Private Limited among others.