We investigated the bactericidal effects and cytotoxicity of an ortho-phthalaldehyde product in comparison with those of its predecessor glutaraldehyde products. Bactericidal effects ware examined on Mycobacterium terrae, a standard organism used for investigating the bactericidal effect of high-level disinfectants. Cytotoxicity as determined by the MTT assay was examined by using four cell lines. The colony forming test, a method to examine residual toxicity, and the evaporation test, a newly developed method to examine the toxicity of the evaporated ingredients, were performed. Test solutions were 2.25% and 3.5% glutaraldehyde (GA) products and a 0.55% ortho-phthalaldehyde (OPA) product, and glutaraldehyde itself. All the disinfectants showed sufficient bactericidal effects on M. terrae. Meanwhile, the OPA product was less toxic than GA products and GA itself to all the cell lines tested. The colony forming test showed that GA products and GA itself exerted residual cytotoxicity more potently than did the OPA product. The evaporation test showed that GA products and GA itself exerted cytotoxicity via evaporation more potently than did the OPA product. In conclusion, OPA appears to be less cytotoxic than GA even though bactericidal effects were comparable. This may be due to the lower concentration of the active ingredient (ortho-phthalaldehyde) in the OPA product.