Agent Name


CAS Number




Major Category

Other Classes


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; [Reference #2] 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

EPA Pesticide Chemical Search

Exposure Assessment
Skin Designation (ACGIH)

Insufficient data

Ceiling (ACGIH)

0.05 ppm


0.05 ppm

Vapor Pressure

17 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; [HSDB] Odor threshold from CHEMINFO; Irritation threshold = 0.3 ppm; [CHEMINFO]

Reference Link

OECD SIDS: Glutaraldehyde

Adverse Effects
Skin Sensitizer





Hepatotoxin, Secondary


Skin Burns

ACGIH Carcinogen

Not Classifiable

Links to Other NLM Databases
Health Studies

Human Health Effects from Hazardous Substances Data Bank:

Toxicity Information


Chemical Information

Search ChemIDplus

Biomedical References

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Related Information in HazMap

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent:


Industrial Processes with risk of exposure: