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Environmental and Safety Services for Healthcare Organizations

Glutaraldehyde Health Hazards

GLUTARALDEHYDE HEALTH HAZARD SUMMARY

COMMON NAMES

Glutaraldehyde, Cidex, Cidex 7, Cidex Plus, ColdSpor, Glutarex, Metricide, Metricide 28, Metricide Plus 14, Metricide Plus 30, Omnicide, Omnicide 14, Omnicide 14 NS, Sporicidin, Wavicide, Activated Dialdehyde Solution.

CHEMICAL FORMULA
OHCC3H6CHO CAS (Chemical Abstract Service) NUMBER 111-30-8 RTECS (NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances) NUMBER MA2450000

DESCRIPTION
Glutaraldehyde is a colorless liquid in combination with powdered salts. Some forms of glutaraldehyde change color when an activating solution is added. Glutaraldehyde is non-flammable in liquid form, but when evaporated the residue will burn. Glutaraldehyde has a pH of 8.7 and an odor threshold of 0.04 ppm

SYMPTOMS OF HUMAN EXPOSURE
Symptoms of human exposure to glutaraldehyde include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat which lead to lachrymation, headache, chest discomfort, symptoms of bronchitis, nausea, vomiting, and general systemic illness.

Glutaraldehyde can cause skin sensitization so skin contact should be avoided. Contact with eyes causes damage. While studies of glutaraldehyde's effect on human reproduction are inconclusive at this time, there may be possible mutagenic and reproductive effects for exposures over long periods of time.

Workers have developed various health effects from the inhalation of airborne glutaraldehyde and from dermal contact with glutaraldehyde solutions or products containing glutaraldehyde. Glutaraldehyde is known to cause irritation of the eyes, skin, and mucous membranes at concentrations above 0.3 parts of glutaraldehyde per million parts of air (ppm).

It is a central nervous system depressant, with headache and drowsiness preceding other effects. There are possible mutagenic and reproductive effects for exposures over long periods of time. Ingestion of glutaraldehyde may cause nausea, vomiting and general systemic illness.
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