A document (PDF) supplied by the Environmental Choice Program, lists corn as a possible source for phenols.
In their document, "to be authorized to carry the EcoLogo, the naturally-derived phenol substitute must be completely derived from feedstocks consisting of wood waste, agricultural waste, and/or other organic waste."
Agricultural waste is further defined and may include: straw, chaff, corn cobs, bean residues, and dried stalks of harvested grains.
This makes these not only potentially problematic for those allergic to corn, but for grass, grain (ex: wheat, rye, barley, oats), and bean/peanut/soy allergies.
Phenols and Uses
According to the Austrailian Government site on Phenol: "Phenol is used as a general disinfectant, as a reagent in chemical analysis and for the manufacture of artificial resins, medical and industrial organic compounds and dyes. It is also used in the manufacture of fertilizers, explosives, paints and paint removers, drugs, pharmaceuticals, textiles and coke. It is produced in large volume, mostly as an intermediate in the production of other chemicals.
The largest single use of phenol is as an intermediate in the production of phenolic resins, which are low-cost, versatile, thermoset resins used in the plywood adhesive, construction, automotive, and appliance industries. It is also used as an intermediate in the production of caprolactam, which is used to make nylon and other synthetic fibers, and bisphenol A, which is used to make epoxy and other resins."
According to Wikipedia's Phenol page: Phenols are used produce aspirin, weedkiller, and synthetic resins, also used in cosmetic surgery as an exfoliant and in treating ingrown nails.
Another site Lakes Environmental: Phenol lists phenol use in ear and nose drops, throat lozenges, and mouthwashes.
The CDC says about Phenols: "Phenol is obtained by fractional distillation of coal tar and by organic synthesis. By far, its largest single use is in manufacture of phenolic resins and plastics. Other uses include manufacture of explosives, fertilizers, paints, rubber, textiles, adhesives, drugs, paper, soap, wood preservatives, and photographic developers. When mixed with slaked lime and other reagents, phenol is an effective disinfectant for toilets, stables, cesspools, floors, and drains.
Phenol was once an important antiseptic and is still used as a preservative in injectables. It also is used as an antipruritic, a cauterizing agent, a topical anesthetic, and as a chemical skin-peeler (chemexfoliant). It can be found in low concentrations in many over-the-counter products including preparations for treatment of localized skin disorders (Castellani's paint, PRID salve, CamphoPhenique lotion), in topical preparations (Sting-Eze), and in throat sprays and lozenges (Chloraseptic, Ambesol, Cepastat, Cheracol)."
Phenol is also commonly used a a preservative in injectibles (vaccines, medications, saline solution), topicals, and both the controls and standardized extracts for allergy testing.
Other names for Phenols are: carbolic acid, hydroxybenzene, phenic, monohydroxybenzene, phenic acid, phenylic acid, phenyl hydroxide, oxybenzene, monophenol, phenyl hydrate, phenylic alcohol, phenol alcohol, phenyl alcohol, phenol reagent, benzenol, carbolic, monophenol, Bakers's P and S liquid and ointment.
Australian Govt: Phenol
Lakes Environmental: Phenol
Environmental Choice: Naturally Derived Phenol Substitutes PDF
The CDC's Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry: Phenols
** Additional info added with help of Purple Kanga