How closely does Environmental, Health, and Safety (EH&S) monitor chemicals with the potential to form peroxides within the laboratories of your company? How well aware are your researchers of which chemicals these are and how to handle and dispose of them? Proper management of potential peroxide-forming solvents is vital to the safety of your researchers and facility staff, the compliance of your institution, the maintenance of your laboratory
equipment and research materials, and the cost of your waste disposal.
Too often, researchers are not aware of the dangers of the chemicals that they are working with, and a lethal explosion occurs. At the University of California, when an undergrad researcher adjusted a flask attached to the rotovap she was using to remove organic solvents from an azobenzene precipitate, the bottle exploded and sent glass shards into her face and torso. If she had been fully aware of the dangers of the peroxide contaminants in the solvents, knew how to stabilize the contents of the bottle, or had been able to recognize the visible indicators of peroxides being present, then this incident could have been avoided.