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Chlorobutanol, or trichloro-2-methyl-2-propanol, is a chemical preservative, sedative hypnotic and weak local anaesthetic similar in nature to chloral hydrate. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Chlorobutanol is typically used at a concentration of 0.5% where it lends long term stability to multi-ingredient formulations. However, it retains antimicrobial activity at 0.05% in water. In pure state it's a white, menthol like odor, volatile solid.
In pure state, the substance is toxic by ingestion (damage to the liver) in excessive doses. If the substance touches the skin it may generate irritation and also it may cause some serious damage to the eye if there's contact.