Agent Name
CAS Number
Major Category
Other Classes
Glutaraldehyde formula graphical representation
1,3-Diformylpropane; 1,5-Pentanedial; Aldehyd glutarowy [Polish]; Aldesan; Aldesen; Alhydex; Cidex; Glutaral; Glutaraldehyd [Czech]; Glutaralum [INN-Latin]; Glutardialdehyde; Glutaric acid dialdehyde; Glutaric aldehyde; Glutaric dialdehyde; Glutarol; Hospex; Pentanedial; Sonacide; Ucarcide; [ChemIDplus] Wavicide; Omnicide; Metricide; [NIOSH Publication No. 2001-115, May 2000] Novaruca; Verucasep; Verutal; [Merck Index] UN2810
Colorless liquid with a pungent odor; [NIOSH] Clear, viscous colorless liquid; [ICSC] Light yellow liquid; [CAMEO] Colorless or light yellow liquid with a sharp pungent odor; Commercially available in aqueous solutions ranging from 2-50%; [Reference #1]
Glutaraldehyde is used in hospitals and medical and dental offices in solutions for cold sterilization and automatic processing of x-rays. [Marks, p. 146-7] Used as a tissue fixative in histology and microscopy, chemical intermediate, embalming fluid, biocide (cosmetics, water treatment, oilfield, and fish farming applications), disinfectant, cross-linking agent, leather tanning agent, gelatine hardening agent, and keratolytic; [HSDB] Used as an antimicrobial agent in agricultural, food handling, commercial, industrial, residential, public, and medical environments; Also used as materials preservative (cleansers, adhesives, paper, water based coatings, latex paints, inks, dyes, concrete admixtures, and reverse osmosis membranes) and in industrial processes and water systems treatment (recirculating and waste-water water systems, drilling muds, oil and gas storage systems, paper mills, and metalworking fluids); [Reference #1]
Asthma reported in hospital endoscopy unit; [Malo] Allergic contact dermatitis in dental workers, housekeeping personnel, medical workers, and photographers; [Marks] A skin and respiratory tract irritant and sensitizer; [ICSC] May polymerize on contact with water; Glutaraldehyde solution causes severe irritation to the eyes and skin; [CAMEO] A severe skin and eye irritant; May cause skin sensitization and occupational asthma; Mice exposed to high concentrations develop signs of toxic hepatitis; [HSDB] May cause nose and throat irritation in hospital employees at vapor concentrations below 0.2 ppm; Contact dermatitis, eye irritation, skin sensitization, and occupational asthma have been reported in workers exposed to dilute solutions (generally 2% or greater); Dilute solutions cause skin (2%) and eye (0.2%) irritation in rabbits; [OECD SIDS: Glutaraldehyde] A follow-up study of physician reports of work-related asthma in 4 states over a 5 year period found that glutaraldehyde was implicated in 9% of the cases among health care workers. [ACGIH]
Reference Link #1
Biomedical References

Exposure Assessment

Skin Designation (ACGIH)
Insufficient data
Ceiling (ACGIH)
0.05 ppm
0.05 ppm
Vapor Pressure
0.6 mm Hg
Odor Threshold Low
0.04 ppm
Lethal Concentration
LC50 (rat) > 480 mg/m3/4hr
Explanatory Notes
VP = 0.6 mm Hg at 30 deg C; VP (20 deg C)= 0.0152 torr (50% aqueous solution); 0.0012 torr (2% aqueous solution); [HSDB] Odor threshold from CHEMINFO; Irritation threshold = 0.3 ppm; [CHEMINFO]
will not burn
0.2 ppm
1 ppm
5 ppm

Adverse Effects

Skin Sensitizer
Hepatoxic (a) from occupational exposure (secondary effect) or (b) in animal studies or in humans after ingestion
Skin burns
ACGIH Carcinogen
Not Classifiable

Diseases, Processes, and Activities Linked to This Agent


Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent: