Safe Lab Management of Peroxide Forming Chemicals

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 laboratoryperoxide-forming chemical
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. 

The following tips will help you manage peroxide-forming chemicals within the four walls of your facility:

  • Understand exactly which chemicals can potentially form peroxides, the cause of the formation, and indicators that peroxides are present.
  • Develop explicit requirements for the safe handling of these chemicals
  • Educate researchers on handling and management of chemicals
  • Closely manage disposal of peroxide-forming chemicals

Proper management of peroxide-forming chemicals is imperative to ensure laboratory safety. Please do not take this matter lightly. We've developed an eBook with the "Five Steps for Managing Peroxide-Forming Chemicals" that you must know. Click below to view the eBook.

Peroxide-Forming Chemicals eBook