Glutaraldehyde exposure is one of the health concerns of many healthcare providers. Glutaraldehyde is a transparent, oily liquid with a strong odor used to sterilize dental and medical equipment safely. Since medical equipment cannot be steam-sterilized, is very heat sensitive, or is frequently subjected to high-level disinfection between patient uses, glutaraldehyde-based chemicals are good disinfectants and sterilizers. Despite efforts to find less harmful alternatives, glutaraldehyde (GA) remain one of the only chemical capable of high-level instrument disinfection in modern health care.
Moreover, cleaners, x-ray technicians, radiographers, and operating room nurses are among the most typically afflicted workers to glutaraldehyde esposure. The combination of widespread hospital use and its well-known irritating qualities has increased in occupationally-related ailments in recent years. In addition, GA is a rather powerful sensitizer and irritant with a well-documented record of causing symptoms after occupational contact.