What Is Coal-Tar Disinfectant?

Updated November 21, 2016

Coal tar is a black, sticky semisolid or liquid that is produced by heating and purifying coal in coke ovens. Coal tar disinfectants are made from coal tar products, coal tar oils and tar acids and are labelled as pesticides.


Active ingredients in coal tar disinfectant are crude light coal oil, chemical coal oil, unsaturated alkylcarboxylic acid sodium salt, coconut fatty acid, sodium salt, cresol, coal and crude tar acids.


Coal tar disinfectant kills bacteria, fungus, viruses, parasite eggs and disease-causing microorganisms. This product is used in poultry, cattle and swine farm buildings to disinfect and sanitise floors, surface areas and equipment.


Protective gloves, goggles and long sleeves should be worn while using coal tar disinfectant, as it is an irritant to the skin and eyes. This product is not to be inhaled or swallowed. The label should carry a toxicity warning, because it is harmful or poisonous to humans and animals if not used or handled properly.

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Billie Abbott is a freelance writer, producing articles for numerous websites, including ParentDish and Gadling. She specializes in topics about gardening, animals, parenting and travel.