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Enlightened EH&S: Peroxide Forming Compounds

Peroxide formers are chemicals that if left after opening for a certain amount of time or if treated in a certain way, can form potentially explosive peroxide by-products.

Peroxides can form when bottles containing these chemicals are exposed to light, heat, oxygen, moisture, or impurities. When they've formed, unscrewing a cap can contribute to a peroxide explosion.

Small things like air exposure and the presence of dust on the threads of a screw cap can contribute to crystals forming and explosion upon opening. The explosion this could cause could break a bottle into pieces in a millisecond and send shards flying with enough force to fatally injure a researcher. 

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