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Peroxide-Forming Chemicals

The chemicals listed below can form explosive peroxide crystals on exposure to air, and therefore require special handling procedures after the container is opened. Some of the chemicals form peroxides that are violently explosive in concentrated solution or as solids, and therefore should never be evaporated to dryness. Others are polymerizable unsaturated compounds and can initiate a runaway, explosive polymerization reaction. All peroxidizable compounds should be stored away from heat and light. They should be protected from physical damage and ignition sources. A warning label should be affixed to all
peroxidizable materials to indicate the date of receipt and the date the container was first opened. Due to these special handling requirements, users must have the appropriate laboratory equipment, information, knowledge and training to use these compounds safely.

A.  Severe Peroxide Hazard with Exposure to Air
     (discard within 3 months from opening)

  • diisopropyl ether (isopropyl ether)
  • divinylacetylene (DVA)
  • vinylidene chloride (1,1-dichloroethylene)
  • potassium metal
  • sodium amide (sodamide)
  • potassium amide

B.  Peroxide Hazard on Concentration

Do not distill or evaporate without first testing for the presence of peroxides (discard or test for peroxides after 6 months)
  • acetaldehyde diethyl acetal (acetal)
  • cumene (isopropylbenzene)
  • cyclohexene
  • cyclopentene
  • decalin (decahydronaphthalene)
  • diacetylene (butadiene)
  • dicyclopentadiene
  • diethyl ether (ether)
  • diethylene glycol dimethyl ether (diglyme)
  • dioxane
  • ethylene glycol dimethyl ether (glyme)
  • ethylene glycol ether acetates
  • ethylene glycol monoethers (cellosolves)
  • furan
  • methylacetylene
  • methylcyclopentane
  • methyl isobutyl ketone
  • tetrahydrofuran (THF)
  • tetralin (tetrahydronaphthalene)
  • vinyl ethers

C.  Hazard of Rapid Polymerization Initiated by Internally-Formed Peroxides

Liquids (discard or test for peroxides after 6 months)
  • Chloroprene (2-chloro-1, 3-butadiene)
  • vinyl acetate
  • styrene
  • vinylpyridine

 Gases (discard after 12 months)
  • butadiene
  • vinylacetylene (MVA)
  • tetrafluoroethylene (TFE)
  • vinyl chloride
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