Peroxide-Forming Chemicals Management Plan
Prepared by OHS&IS
Page 1 of 6
GUIDELINES FOR THE USE OF
Some common organic chemicals can react with air to form unstable and dangerous peroxide compounds
with storage. These peroxides may detonate with extreme violence when subjected to thermal or
mechanical shock. Others may cause rapid polymerisation and initiate an explosive reaction. The risk
increases if the peroxide becomes concentrated by evaporation or distillation.
Peroxide formation is accelerated by exposure to air, light, heat, moisture and contamination from metals.
Peroxides may form in containers that have not been opened as they may have been packaged in an
atmosphere of air.
Peroxide crystals can accumulate around the cap or stopper of a container and detonate when the lid is
twisted. If a precipitate or crystals are present in a peroxide-forming chemical do not open the lid.
RECOMMENDED WORK PRACTICES
1. Minimise use of peroxide-forming chemicals
(i) Consider elimination or substitution of the peroxide-forming chemical in the process and workplace.
(ii) Purchase minimum quantities to ensure use within the recommended expiration and disposal period.
(iii) Share chemicals between common users.
(iv) Purchase peroxide-forming chemicals which contain a peroxide inhibitor if possible. Be aware that
such inhibitors become depleted over time.
(i) Label containers of peroxide-forming chemicals with:
a) the date received
b) the date they are first opened
(ii) Label containers with the name of the owner (e.g. researcher, teaching staff).
(iii) Example label:
TEST BEFORE USING
Name of Owner:
3. Storage and Use
(i) Store in dark, transparent bottles, in a cool place and avoid sunlight. Keep containers tightly closed.
It is preferable to use containers that enable t