Do you know what chemicals in your inventory have the potential to form dangerous peroxides?
Certain classes of compounds are prone to forming peroxides over time, including ethers, halogenated alkenes, vinyl halides, and secondary alcohols. Concentration or distillation of peroxide forming chemicals present the greatest danger, however moving or opening old containers of these chemicals can result in an explosion due to frictional detonation of peroxide crystals in the cap threads. It is important to implement a peroxide former program to ensure that these chemicals are monitored and disposed of in a timely fashion. Calling in the fire department to dispose of a potential bomb is not a call you want to make!
In order for the Chemical Hygiene Officer to effectively implement a peroxide former program, they need to be made aware of the peroxide forming chemicals before they are received. Proper labeling, tracking, and disposal are all components of a proper program, as well as training employees.
While conducting chemical inventories, it is important to look for peroxide forming chemicals that were not recognized as such when they were ordered.