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Glutaraldehyde in Excel

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Crispino Ramos, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. Crispino Ramos

    Crispino Ramos Guru Class Expert

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    Is glutaraldehyde related to a chain of organic compounds like formaldehyde? The active ingredient in Seachem Flourish Excel is glutaraldehyde. Is the chemical structure of formaldehyde and glutaraldehyde very closely similar? If so, I want to bring out the possibility that glutaraldehyde can be carcinogenic.

    In today's news I've read that formaldehyde has been listed as carcinogenic. Here's the link to the article:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110611/hl_nm/us_usa_health_cancer

    And this is a related article about glutaraldehyde in Excel:

    http://www.oscarfish.com/article-home/equipment/114-buyer-beaware-seachem-excel.html
     
    #1 Crispino Ramos, Jun 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2011
  2. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Care in Handling Is Warranted

    Hi,

    A while back Tom Barr posted a link to a study on the possible long term effect of exposure (inhalation, I recall) to glutaraldehyde, as used in dental (medical?) offices as a disinfectant.:eek: Somewhere around here I posted a training or instructional on the use of glutaraldehyde. I seem to have misplaced the links.:eek:

    Glutaraldehyde and formaldehyde are not interchangeable though they are used for many of the same purposes.;)
    http://msdssearch.dow.com/PublishedLiteratureDOWCOM/dh_0047/0901b803800478ea.pdf?filepath=biocides/pdfs/noreg/253-01435.pdf&fromPage=GetDoc
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/k1nn17r27663k2mg/

    A fact sheet from the State of California
    http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/hesis/Documents/glutaral.pdf

    Glutaraldehyde MSDS
    http://fscimage.fishersci.com/msds/10421.htm


    Biollante
     
  3. Cyclesafe

    Cyclesafe Guru Class Expert

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    Look, the only thing in glutaraldehyde has in common with formaldehyde is the aldehyde. That's not much different than linking sorbitol to methanol because they are both alcohols.

    Now, exposure to glutarladehyde might very well be problematic, but linking it to formadehyde, a known carcinogen that has been regulated for decades, because they share the word aldehyde in their names seems a stretch.
     
    #3 Cyclesafe, Jun 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2011
  4. Seattle_Aquarist

    Seattle_Aquarist Guru Class Expert

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    Hi Cris,

    I purchase 50% concentration Biological Grade glutaradehyde and dilute it to Excel strength. I dose at 2X the receommended Excel daily dosage both for the additional available carbon and for the algaecide properties. Excel, in the bottle, is 1.5% concentration glutaraldehyde. After I add it to my aquarium at 2X the daily dosage, the concentration in the tank is approximately 0.000375% glut. When we talk about chemicals and toxicity, I try to keep in mind it is not just the chemical itself but also the concentration of the chemical that may cause adverse effects.

    However, with I do excercise caution when mixing up my diluted solutions; and I dose my tanks after I have done whatever maintenance that would require me to stick my arm into the aquariums. Also, I wash my hands and arms after working in my tanks. I have not experienced any ill effects from using the glut/Excel, but I do use some common sense.
     
  5. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Doesn't Hurt To Be Wary... Being Paranoid Doesn’t Mean “They” Are Not Out To Get You

    Hi Roy, Chris, All,

    Beyond the "get the stuff" on your skin, in your eyes and at 50% strength,:eek: lung/respiratory damage, the concerns raised with glutaraldehyde is long term effects from breathing fumes of dilute (under 3.6%) solutions used to sterilize dental/medical instruments.

    Since glutaraldehyde is highly dilute in our aquaria I would doubt the risk applies to us or our families.:)

    Biollante
     
  6. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    Glut is not carcinogenic. My dentist rotates between glutaraldehyde and another disinfectant every 6 months to limit staff exposure, which could cause work-related asthma or allergic reaction. Mostly a respiratory irritant. If you aren't having breathing problems from the fumes, you'll be okay. Obviously don't drink it and follow normal chemical safety protocals...duh. I wouldn't recommend playing chemist and dealing with higher concentrations unless you have a good ventilation system. Excel shouldn't pose a problem for most people. When I run out of beer, often times I take a 1 oz shot. Burns just like hennessy. ;)

    fwiw, they also use glutaraldehyde to clean endoscopes. They have these machines that look like clothes washing machines to inject a constant stream of disinfectant through and around the scopes. Smells just like excel...lol
     
    #6 Matt F., Jun 12, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2011
  7. paludarium

    paludarium Guest

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    Hi all,

    for your references, the following review articles are worth reading:

    1. Smith DR, Wang RS. Glutaraldehyde exposure and its occupational impact in the health care enviroment. Enviromental Health and Preventive Medicine 11, 3-10(2006).
    2. Takigawa T, Endo Y. Effects of glutaraldehyde exposure on human health. J Occup Health 48, 75-87(2006).

    Regards,
    Erich
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    It is mostly an exposure risk if you drink it, get in your eyes or breath the vapors.
    Copious amounts of human health research articles are available on line.
     
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