Aldehydes, are highly effective, broad spectrum disinfectants, which typically achieve sterilization in soaking applications by denaturing proteins and disrupting nucleic acids. The most commonly used actives are formaldehyde and gluteraldehyde. Aldehydes are effective against bacteria, fungi, viruses, mycobacteria and spores. Aldehydes are non-corrosive to metals, rubber, plastic and cement. These chemicals are highly irritating, toxic to humans or animals with contact or inhalation, and are potentially carcinogenic; therefore their use is limited.
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