Organic compounds and Perchlorates have been documented to form dangerous peroxides over a period of time when stored under normal conditions.  These compounds can become extremely shock, heat or friction sensitive. Even the simplest task of opening the cap could lead to an explosive reaction. Organic compounds such as ether and perchloric acid, should be dated upon receipt in the laboratory, dated upon opening and disposed within 6 months of opening the container or 12 months of receipt even if the container has not been opened. It is recommended that each time the chemical is used it is tested for the formation of peroxides with a peroxide test strip. If peroxides are detected a waste disposal request should be submitted. The Environmental Health and Safety Department should be contacted immediately anytime a bottle is found with crystals around the cap or when an out of date bottle is identified. Do not attempt to move the bottle.

In addition to storage and use, only fume hoods with a wash down feature should be used when working with perchloric acid. These acids can form crystals upstream of the hood face and become shock sensitive creating an extreme hazard to those in the laboratory as well as maintenance personnel.

BEST PRACTICES
  • Review all Laboratory SOP and manufacturer SDS before usage
  • Date all peroxide forming compounds with date received and opened
  • Purchase smaller volumes to ensure usage before expiration date
  • Purchase stabilize or inhibited solvent to slow peroxide formation rate
  • Purchase peroxide test strips and regularly test solvents; Contact EHS if concentrations are greater than 100ppm
  • Visually inspect containers for crystal formation or discoloration of liquids before opening.  Contact EHS is observed

The following are common chemicals found in research laboratories and is not to be a comprehensive list.  You should refer to the manufacturer SDS or use a online database such as PUBCHEM or CAMEO for specific handling and storage guidance.  

Group A - Chemicals that formed peroxides without concentration by evaporation or distillation. 

Butadiene

Divinylacetylene

Tetrafluoroethylene

Chloroprene

Isopropyl ether

Vinylidene chloride  


Group B - Chemicals that formed peroxides with concentration by evaporation or distillation.  

Acetal 

Cyclopentene

Ethylene glycol

Methyl-isobutyl ketone

Acetaldehyde

2-Cyclohexen-1-ol

Ether acetates

1-Phenylethanol

Benzyl alcohol

Diacetylene (butadiyne)

Furan

2-Pentanol

2-Butanol

Dioxanes

4-Heptanol

4-Penten-1-ol

Cyclohexene

Diethyl ether

2-Hexanol

Tetrahydronapthalene

Cumene(isopropylbenzene)

Diglyme

4-Methyl-2-pentanol

Tetrahydrofuran

Chlorofluoroethylene

Decahydronapthalene (decalin)

Methyl acetylene

Sec. Alcohols

 

Dicyclopentadiene

3-Methyl-1-butanol

Vinyl ethers


Group C - Chemicals that auto-polymerize upon accumulation if not inhibited

Acrylic acid

Chlorotrifluoroethylene

Vinyl acetated

Acrylonitrile

Methyl methacrylate

Vinyl chloride

Butadiene

Sytrene

Vinylpyridine

Chloroprene

Tetrafluoroethylene

Vinyladinene chloride