Chemical Technology Archive

Dow Microbial Control, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company, recently introduced new, analytical test methodologies which can rapidly detect whether glutaraldehyde is genuine or not. Held in Johannesburg, South Africa, technical experts at the microbial control academy delivered presentations on the benefits of this proven antimicrobial. They also identified the risks and costs associated with buying and using non-genuine, counterfeit-labeled glutaraldehyde products.

In the more than six decades since glutaraldehyde was introduced to the marketplace, it has become known as a versatile molecule and is commonly used to control microbial growth in oil and gas operations, water treatment facilities and on animal farms. Today, non-genuine products, mixed with less-effective aldehydes such as formaldehyde or glyoxal, but labelled deceptively as glutaraldehyde, are available in the marketplace all over the world, including South Africa.

"The new analytical test methods give customers the option to screen supplied products for formaldehyde and glyoxal at their facilities, without having to wait for lab results," says Emmanuel Appiah-Amponsah, Associate Research Scientist for Dow Microbial Control.

Risks are potentially high for workers and the environment when mislabeled chemicals, especially ones containing carcinogens, are unknowingly handled. Genuine glutaraldehyde is not a carcinogen, mutagen, nor a reproductive toxicant. It does not bioaccumulate and is readily biodegradable. It's critical for companies to ensure they are using glutaraldehyde to comply with approved safe handling guidelines. Nongenuine products may have significantly different toxicological properties that can harm workers and the environment and fall short in efficacy and sustainability.

In order to combat the sale and use of nongenuine glutaraldehyde, Dow Microbial Control has launched a global awareness initiative called 'GENUINE GLUTARALDEHYDE' to inform customers about nongenuine products that may in fact contravene environmental, health and safety regulations. This is according to Joseph Ferrara, Commercial Director for Dow Microbial Control, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Dow has held this education campaign in various parts of the world including Latin America, South East Asia, New Zealand, Australia and the Middle East.

For further information contact Nontyatyambo Petros+27115751038 on telephone +27 82 329 1652 or email

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