What is 2,4-dinitrophenol?

2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP) is an organic compound with the formula HOC₆H₃(NO₂)₂. It is a yellow, crystalline solid that has a sweet, musty odor. It sublimes, is volatile with steam, and is soluble in most organic solvents as well as aqueous alkaline solutions.


DNP is widely used as a pesticide and antiseptic. It is used in making dyes, wood preservatives, explosives, insect control substances, and other chemicals, and as a photographic developer. It was used in diet pills in the 1930s but was banned for this use in 1938.

Sources & Potential Exposure

2,4-Dinitrophenol is used in the manufacture of dyes, wood preservatives, and as a pesticide. The acute (short-term) effects of 2,4-dinitrophenol in humans through oral exposure are nausea, vomiting, sweating, dizziness, headaches, and loss of weight. Chronic (long-term) oral exposure to 2,4-dinitrophenol in humans has resulted in the formation of cataracts and skin lesions, weight loss, and has caused effects on the bone marrow, central nervous system (CNS), and cardiovascular system. Limited or no information is available on the developmental, reproductive, or carcinogenic effects of 2,4-dinitrophenol in humans.

Federal Regulations

EPA has not classified 2,4-dinitrophenol for carcinogenicity

REGENESIS Treatment Products – 2,4-dinitrophenol