Last update Jan. 15, 2020


Low Risk

Possibly safe. Probably compatible. Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended. Read the Comment.

Bactericidal disinfectant which is effective against Gram-positive and Gram-Negative bacteria, fungi and virus. 
Used as a disinfectant for medical instruments (endoscopes, dental material, etc.) and in endodontic treatments (INSS 2008, Rusmah 1993).
It is also used to treat warts and hyperhidrosis (Dall'oglio 2012). 

Since the last update we have not found published data on its excretion in breastmilk.

In topical treatment for warts, the small dose and minimal plasma absorption makes it unlikely it will transfer into breastmilk in significant quantities. Do not apply on the breast so as to avoid the infant ingesting it.

Similarly, there is minimal absorption via endodontic treatments (Rusmah 1993).


Acute and prolonged inhalation of glutaral in concentrations over the permitted level may cause irritation of the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract, occupational asthma and nervousness (Copeland 2015, Rosenman 2015, Nayebzadeh 2007, Takigawa 2006).

Direct skin contact causes irritation and contact dermatitis (ILO 2018).

It is necessary to ensure adequate ventilation in workplaces in order to maintain glutaral levels below 0.05 ppm, automatic disinfection units, suitable protection material and adequate information for workers (ILO 2018, INSHT 2017, INSS 2008, Nayebzadeh 2007, d'Angelo 2006, Jordan 1995).

Glutaral does not have carcinogenic or mutagenic effects (Takigawa 2006).

The small amount that reaches the plasma via inhalation due to its irritant capacity, is quickly metabolized to carbon dioxide, CO2, which is eliminated by the kidneys or respiratory tract (Rusmah 1993).

With regard to occupational risks for breastfeeding mothers (INSHT 2017, EC Regulation 2008), there are only two risk phrases (old R-phrases, currently H-phrases for hazard) or precaution phrases (P-phrases) that should appear on the product’s safety data sheet:
- H362 (R64): "May cause harm to breast fed children"
- P263: "Avoid contact during pregnancy/while nursing”

Three other phrases that should be considered during breastfeeding are related to the carcinogenic, mutagenic or cumulative strength of a product:
H351 (ant. R40): “Possible carcinogenic effect"
- H351 (ant. R40): "Possible carcinogenic effects"
- H371 (ant. R68): "Possible risk of irreversible effects”
- H373 (ant. R33):" Danger of cumulative effects”

Based on the absence of these phrases in the safety data sheet of glutaral (ILO 2018) and in government lists (INSHT 2017, EC Regulation 2008), it would not be necessary to remove a breastfeeding mother from her job, and it would be enough for the company to meet legal requirements regarding the maximum levels of environmental exposure and for the employee to follow recommended rules of caution (gloves, hand and face washing, change of clothes, etc.)

List of WHO essential medicines: compatible with breastfeeding (WHO / UNICEF 2002).

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Glutaraldehyde is also known as Glutaral.

Glutaraldehyde in other languages or writings:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Glutaraldehyde in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Molecular weight 100 daltons


  1. INSHT - Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo. Límites de exposición profesional para agentes químicos en España. - 2022 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  2. OTI-OMS-EMA. Glutaral. Ficha internacional de seguridad química. 2018 Full text (in our servers)
  3. ILO-WHO-EMA. Glutaral. International Chemical Safety Cards. 2018 Full text (in our servers)
  4. Rosenman KD, Beckett WS. Web based listing of agents associated with new onset work-related asthma. Respir Med. 2015 May;109(5):625-31. Abstract
  5. Copeland S, Nugent K. Persistent and Unusual Respiratory Findings after Prolonged Glutaraldehyde Exposure. Int J Occup Environ Med. 2015 Jul;6(3):177-83. Abstract
  6. Dall'oglio F, D'Amico V, Nasca MR, Micali G. Treatment of cutaneous warts: an evidence-based review. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2012 Apr 1;13(2):73-96. Abstract
  7. INSS - AEP. Orientaciones para la valoración del riesgo laboral durante la lactancia natural. Catálogo general de publicaciones oficiales. 2008 Full text (in our servers)
  8. - REGULATION (EC) No 1272/2008 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 16 December 2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures. Official Journal of the European Union. 2008 Full text (link to original source)
  9. . REGLAMENTO (CE) No 1272/2008 DEL PARLAMENTO EUROPEO Y DEL CONSEJO de 16 de diciembre de 2008 sobre clasificación, etiquetado y envasado de sustancias y mezclas. Diario oficial de la Unión Europea. 2008 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  10. Nayebzadeh A. The effect of work practices on personal exposure to glutaraldehyde among health care workers. Ind Health. 2007 Apr;45(2):289-95. Abstract
  11. d'Angelo R, Russo E, Lama A. [Occupational exposure to glutaraldehyde in the hospital setting]. G Ital Med Lav Ergon. 2006 Apr-Jun;28(2):192-4. Italian. Abstract
  12. Takigawa T, Endo Y. Effects of glutaraldehyde exposure on human health. J Occup Health. 2006 Mar;48(2):75-87. Review. Abstract
  13. WHO / UNICEF. BREASTFEEDING AND MATERNAL MEDICATION Recommendations for Drugs in the Eleventh WHO Model List of Essential Drugs. Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development (WHO/UNICEF) 2002 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  14. Jordan SL. The correct use of glutaraldehyde in the healthcare environment. Gastroenterol Nurs. 1995 Jul-Aug;18(4):143-5. Abstract
  15. Rusmah M. Glutaraldehyde in dentistry--a review. Singapore Dent J. 1993 Jun;18(1):17-21. Review. Abstract

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