8.2.4 Glutaraldehyde

Glutaraldehyde (OHC(CH2)3CHO) is also effective against vegetative bacteria, spores and viruses.  It is non-corrosive and faster acting than formaldehyde; however, it takes several hours to kill the bacterial spores.  Glutaraldehyde is often purchased as a 2 percent solution and requires “activation” (made alkaline) before use by adding a bicarbonate compound supplied with the product.   A solution of glutaraldehyde which has become turbid should not be used.

Note: Glutaraldehyde is toxic and its fumes irritate the eyes and mucous membranes.  All use must be done in a fume hood or well-ventilated area.  Additionally, it is not recommended as a spray or solution to decontaminate environmental surfaces.