Beware of imitation biocides: Dow launches campaign to help users distinguish glutaraldehyde from counterfeit products

May 4, 2012
Dow Microbial Control has launched a comprehensive educational campaign called "GENUINE GLUTARALDEHYDE" intended to help customers distinguish glutaraldehyde from counterfeit product options...

BUFFALO GROVE, IL, May 4, 2012 -- Dow Microbial Control, a business group of The Dow Chemical Company, has launched a comprehensive educational campaign called "GENUINE GLUTARALDEHYDE" intended to help customers distinguish glutaraldehyde from counterfeit product options while simultaneously promoting the numerous benefits of glutaraldehyde.

Successfully introduced more than 60 years ago, glutaraldehyde is one of Dow Microbial Control's flagship molecules. This versatile microbiocide offers a host of advantages in applications ranging from high-level disinfection of medical equipment employed in healthcare settings to controlling microbes found in industrial operations such as oilfields and cooling towers to disinfecting poultry and swine facilities.

"During the past few years, formulators have increasingly made and sold products that are supposedly glutaraldehyde-based, but actually contain other ingredients, including formaldehyde and glyoxal," said Mark Henning, global general manager for Dow Microbial Control. "The bottom line is that if your product does not contain genuine glutaraldehyde, you may very likely have a product with a blend of formaldehyde and/or glyoxal and possibly some small amount of glutaraldehyde. Customers could be overpaying by 50 to 200 percent, based on current average market prices for these blended materials. Moreover, there are often environmental, health and safety issues to consider with these blended products, and the personal protective equipment requirements may differ -- especially for free formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen."

In conjunction with its GENUINE GLUTARALDEHYDE program, Dow Microbial Control has developed a variety of beneficial materials. These include a GENUINE GLUTARALDEHYDE Cost Calculator to determine how much customers should be paying for their blended products, as well as detailed technical information and fact sheets, a compendium of glutaraldehyde milestones and other helpful information.

To better educate potential customers, educators and scientists about glutaraldehyde's proven benefits, research and development initiatives, and updates, Dow Microbial Control is utilizing Heather McGinley, Ph.D., as the focal point of a widespread educational campaign. An associate scientist with the company, McGinley has conducted extensive research about glutaraldehyde and presented a variety of technical papers at prominent industry conferences and events.

"Glutaraldehyde was first produced commercially in 1951 and offers a host of important microbial control benefits that have been confirmed through six decades of usage," said Rick Strittmatter, global director of research and development for Dow Microbial Control. "This versatile product provides broad efficacy, is biodegradable and formaldehyde free, and is also non-carcinogenic, non-persistent and non-bio-accumulative, which distinguishes it from many other biocides."

Although glutaraldehyde is often confused with formaldehyde and shares the chemical family name "aldehyde," their chemical and toxicological properties differ significantly. In addition, genuine glutaraldehyde neither contains nor degrades into formaldehyde.

"Glutaraldehyde is a terrific option for many applications, and we remain committed to developing innovative and sustainable solutions that help customers manage their microbial control challenges as effectively as possible," said Suzanne Carroll, Dow Microbial Control's global commercial director. "We encourage customers to ask for genuine glutaraldehyde-based products from The Dow Chemical Company or BASF -- the world's only two manufacturers of glutaraldehyde -- so they know they are getting what they desire rather than blends incorporating little or no glutaraldehyde that may falsely claim to be glutaraldehyde-based. Dow Microbial Control is placing a special "Formaldehyde Free" seal on many of our glutaraldehyde products to distinguish them from potential imitators and let customers know they are receiving genuine glutaraldehyde and not overpaying for an inferior product."

Dow Microbial Control has also created a special website devoted to glutaraldehyde, which is accessible at It features useful glutaraldehyde-related information, including links to technical documents and resources. Visitors to the site who successfully answer several questions about glutaraldehyde will be entered in a random drawing for a chance to win an Apple® iPad®.

Dow Microbial Control
Dow Microbial Control innovates with science and technology to provide long-term viable and sustainable microbial control. Our comprehensive global offering provides customers with solutions to optimize formulations, including high performing and technically supported selection of registered actives and products. With world-class people organization-wide and a broad portfolio of microbial control technologies, Dow Microbial Control can help solve most any microbial control problem. From specialty and highly regulated to non-regulated, the company has the experience and essentials for more sustainable microbial protection for products and processes. Visit
About Dow
Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture. In 2011, Dow had annual sales of $60 billion and employed approximately 52,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 197 sites in 36 countries across the globe. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at


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