Similar term(s): .
A class of organic compounds which have a -CH=O group at the end of a carbon chain (in contrast to ketones which have the group elsewhere). Aldehydes are highly reactive chemical compounds. They are formed from alcohols and can be made both synthetically or by natural processes. Health effects caused by aldehydes vary depending on the length of the chain and the presence of a carbon (aromatic) ring.
Aldehydes are commonly found in nature. Cinnam aldehyde (cinnamon bark) and vanillin (vanilla bean) are examples.
In the chemical industry, aldehydes are used to make resins, dyes, organic acids and perfumes.
In water treatment, aldehydes are formed as disinfectant byproduct when ozone or chlorine is used as the disinfectant.
Formaldehyde (HCHO) is commonly used as an embalming fluid but is also an 'air toxic', formed from the burning of fossil fuels (e.g. from coal power plants and vehicle exhausts).
Disinfectant(s) - Fossil fuel(s) - Organic - Ozone - Water disinfection by-product(s)