Toxic effect of poly(hexamethylene guanidine) on diatom algae

  • Annenkov V.V. 1
  • Danilovtseva E.N. 1
  • Palshin V.A. 1
  • Avezova T.N. 1
  • 1 Limnological Institute, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Ulan-Batorskaya Str., 3, Irkutsk, 664033, Russia
Keywords: poly(hexamethylene guanidine), diatom algae, toxicity, poly(acrylic acid)


Poly(hexamethylene guanidine) has been used for several decades as a disinfectant for various surfaces and water, including drinking water. Its use has increased significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The toxicity of poly(hexamethylene guanidine) has been studied on warmblooded animals and fish, but there is little data on its action on planktonic organisms. For the first time the effect of poly(hexamethylene guanidine) (Anavidin preparation) on diatom algae which are one of the main producers of oxygen and photosynthesized organic substances was studied. The obtained data indicate complete suppression of the growth of the diatom Ulnaria ferefusiformis (formerly known as Synedra acus) at a concentration of 0.5 mg/L. Diatom growth is suppressed by more than 30% at 0.1 mg/L Anavidin, which corresponds to the MAC for water bodies for household and domestic use. Addition of polymeric acids, for example, poly(acrylic acid) partially neutralizes the toxic effect of poly(hexamethylene guanidine). Thus, due to the widespread use of poly(hexamethylene guanidine), it is necessary to thoroughly study its effect on various inhabitants of aquatic ecosystems.