Glutaraldehyde

CAS RN: 111-30-8

Exposure Summary

Glutaraldehyde's production and use as a disinfectant, as a cross-linking agent, as a tanning agent for leather and use in the paper and textile industries to improve wet strength and dimensional stability of fibers may result in its release to the environment through various waste streams. Its use as a biocide in water treatment, hydraulic fracturing fluids and oil-field applications and as a preservative in cosmetics and personal-care products will result in its direct release to the environment. Glutaraldehyde has been detected in gasoline and diesel engine emissions. If released to air, a vapor pressure of 0.6 mm Hg at 30 deg C indicates glutaraldehyde will exist solely as a vapor in the atmosphere. Vapor-phase glutaraldehyde will be degraded in the atmosphere by reaction with photochemically-produced hydroxyl radicals; the half-life for this reaction in air is estimated to be 16 hours. Glutaraldehyde may be susceptible to direct photolysis in the atmosphere based upon aqueous photolysis studies. If released to soil, glutaraldehyde is expected to have very high to moderate mobility based upon measured Koc values ranging from 5.1 to 500. Volatilization from moist soil surfaces is not expected to be an important fate process based upon a Henry's Law constant of 3.3X10-8 atm-cu m/mole. Glutaraldehyde is expected to volatilize from dry soil surfaces based upon its vapor pressure and it has been reported that small amounts of glutaraldehyde will volatilize to the atmosphere. Results of biodegradation screening tests indicate that glutaraldehyde is readily biodegradable. A soil degradation study using a loamy sand soil observed a pseudo-first order dissipation half-life of 1.7 days due primarily to soil microorganisms. If released into water, glutaraldehyde is not expected to adsorb to suspended solids and sediment based upon the Koc. In a closed bottle test using seawater as inoculum, glutaraldehyde showed 73% degradation in 28 days indicating that biodegradation is expected to be an important fate process in water. Volatilization from water surfaces is not expected to be an important fate process based upon this compound's Henry's Law constant. An estimated BCF of 3 suggests the potential for bioconcentration in aquatic organisms is low. At 25 deg C, glutaraldehyde has measured hydrolysis half-lives of 508-628, 102-394 and 46-63.8 days at pH 5, pH 7 and pH 9 respectively. The measured half-life for the photolysis of aqueous solutions of glutaraldehyde exposed to natural sunlight was 196 days. Occupational exposure to glutaraldehyde may occur through inhalation and dermal contact with this compound at workplaces where glutaraldehyde is produced or used. Use and limited monitoring data indicate that the general population may be exposed to glutaraldehyde via inhalation of ambient air and dermal contact with consumer products containing glutaraldehyde. (SRC)
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