Glutaraldehyde Information



Other Names

Glutaral; Pentanedial; Cidex

Chemical Formula


CAS Number


Industry Uses

Disinfectant; Water Treatment; Fixative and Embalming Fluid;

Health Risks

Irritation of eyes, skin, and respiratory system; Dizziness and Headaches;

Vapor Pressure

17 mmHg

Water Solubility





Pungent, Sweetish

Glutaraldehyde MSDS

What is Glutaraldehyde?

Glutaraldehyde is a colorless liquid with a pungent odor. It is non-flammable and non-combustible. It is oily at room temperature and miscible with water, alcohol, and benzene. It is used as a disinfectant for medical and dental equipment, industrial water treatment, and chemical fixative and preservative. Glutaraldehyde is toxic to aquatic life. It is a strong reducing agent, reacting with strong acids, strong bases, and strong oxidants.

Glutaraldehyde Exposure and Health Risks

Glutaraldehyde is toxic if inhaled, swallowed, or contacted directly. As an irritant, glutaraldehyde causes severe eye, nose, throat, and lung burning and irritation. Dermatitis and skin burns can occur from direct contact. Symptoms of poisoning include headaches, dizziness, and drowsiness, as well as abdominal pain. It also can cause allergy or asthma symptoms if inhaled.


The table below summarizes the most-recent exposure limits.




0.2 ppm



0.2 ppm



Sources: NIOSH, OSHA

Measuring Glutaraldehyde

Glutaraldehyde is a Volatile Organic Compound, or VOC, and can be measured as such with a general VOC monitor or with a specific Glutaraldehyde Sensor. The Glutaraldehyde Badge is constructed from three cells attached to a flat indicator layer. Glutaraldehyde vapor diffuses to the cells through the diffusive resistances and reacts with the indicator layer, producing a color change from yellow to pink. The color produced is a direct measure of the exposure level. VOC monitors measure a wide variety of gases. There are two types of VOC monitors, Heated Metal Oxide Sensors (HMOS) and Photoionization Detector (PID). Each monitor varies in its sensor response, but each comes with a response factor guide to indicate how to measure each compound specifically. 

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