Glutaraldehyde

CAS RN: 111-30-8

Environmental Fate

TERRESTRIAL FATE: Based on a classification scheme(1), measured Koc values ranging from 5.1 to 500(2,3) indicate that glutaraldehyde is expected to have very high to moderate mobility in soil(SRC). Volatilization of glutaraldehyde from moist soil surfaces is not expected to be an important fate process(SRC) given a Henry's Law constant of 3.3X10-8 atm-cu m/mole(2). Glutaraldehyde is expected to volatilize from dry soil surfaces(SRC) based upon a vapor pressure of 0.6 mm Hg at 30 deg C(4), and it has been reported that small amounts of glutaraldehyde will volatilize to the atmosphere(4). Results of biodegradation screening tests indicate that glutaraldehyde is readily biodegradable(2,3,5). A soil degradation study using a loamy sand soil and and initial glutaraldehyde concentration of 10 ppm observed a pseudo-first order dissipation half-life of 1.7 days due primarily to soil microorganisms(3).
AQUATIC FATE: Based on a classification scheme(1), measured Koc values ranging from 5.1 to 500(2,3) indicate that glutaraldehyde is not expected to adsorb to suspended solids and sediment(SRC). Volatilization from water surfaces is not expected(4) based upon a Henry's Law constant of 3.3X10-8 atm-cu m/mole(2). According to a classification scheme(5), an estimated BCF of 3(SRC), from its log Kow of -0.33(2) and a regression-derived equation(6), suggests the potential for bioconcentration in aquatic organisms is low(SRC). Results of biodegradation screening tests indicate that glutaraldehyde is readily biodegradable(2,3,7). In a closed bottle test using seawater as inoculum, glutaraldehyde showed 73% degradation in 28 days(2). 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(2,3). The measured half-life for the photolysis of sterile aqueous solutions of glutaraldehyde exposed to natural sunlight was 196 days(2).
ATMOSPHERIC FATE: According to a model of gas/particle partitioning of semivolatile organic compounds in the atmosphere(1), glutaraldehyde, which has a vapor pressure of 0.6 mm Hg at 30 deg C(2), is expected to exist solely as a vapor in the ambient atmosphere. Vapor-phase glutaraldehyde is degraded in the atmosphere by reaction with photochemically-produced hydroxyl radicals(SRC); the half-life for this reaction in air is estimated to be 15 hours(SRC), calculated from its rate constant of 2.52X10-11 cu cm/molecule-sec at 25 deg C(3). Aqueous solutions of glutaraldehyde have an observed photolysis half-life of 196 days when exposed to sunlight(4) suggesting that direct photolysis may occur in the ambient atmosphere(SRC).
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