A accidental spills of phenol(100%) to the river Nakdong with subsequent contamination of the tap water for about two million consumers in Taegu city of Korea were occurred in March 1991. A historical cohort study of 6,913 individuals was undertaken to determine the associated with illness. Population subjects were divided into two groups of exposed and unexposed. Exposed subjects were reported to be phenol associated symptoms significantly higher than those in a nearby unexposed area(39.6% vs 9.4%, p<0.01). Especially, in the related symptoms, highly significant differences were noted in the number of subjects reporting gastrointestinal illness such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain. During the accident, study subjects who experienced peculiar taste or odor in the tap water were significantly higher in the exposed areas(92% vs 34.3%). Chlorophenols formed from chlorination of water may have aggravated the problem.