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Hydrogen Peroxide

General Description

  • Synonyms: High-strength hydrogen peroxide; Peroxide; Hydrogen dioxide; H2O2
  • OSHA IMIS Code Number: 1470
  • IMIS Name History: Hydrogen Peroxide (90%) prior to 2/1/06
  • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 7722-84-1
  • NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: MX0900000
  • Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Emergency Response Guidebook: 2984 140 (8-20% solution); 2014 140 (20-60% solution); 2015 143 (>60% solution)
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Hydrogen Peroxide: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

Exposure Limits

  • OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):
  • American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 1 ppm, 1.4 mg/m3 TWA; Appendix A3 - Confirmed Animal Carcinogen with Unknown Relevance to Humans
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 1 ppm, 1.4 mg/m3 TWA

Health Factors

  • Carcinogenic Classification:
  • NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 75 ppm
  • Potential Symptoms: Eye, nose, throat irritation; sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, pulmonary edema; dizziness; headache; blurred vision, corneal ulcer; redness, pain, vesicles on skin; bleaching of hair; Ingestion Acute: Sore throat; abdominal pain, distention; nausea, vomiting; possible embolism (oxygen bubbles) in the blood resulting in shock or symptoms of a stroke
  • Health Effects: Irritation-Eye, Nose, Throat, Skin---Marked (HE14); Acute lung damage (HE11); Mutagen (HE2)
  • Affected Organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system
  • Notes:
    1. Listed by the FDA among "Direct Food Substances Affirmed as Generally Recognized as Safe" (21 CFR 184.1366).
    2. Metabolized to oxygen and water by catalase.
  • Literature Basis:
    • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Hydrogen Peroxide.
    • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Hydrogen Peroxide.
    • Ashdown, B.C., Stricof, D.D., May, M.L., Sherman, S.J. and Carmody, R.F.: Hydrogen peroxide poisoning causing brain infarction: neuroimaging findings. AJR Am. J. Roentgenol. 170(6):1653-5, 1998.
    • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Hydrogen Peroxide. In, Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 1. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 1286-1288.
    • Vander Heide, S.J. and Seamon, J.P.: Resolution of delayed altered mental status associated with hydrogen peroxide ingestion following hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Acad. Emerg. Med. 10(9): 998-1000, 2003.
  • Date Last Revised: 02/24/2004

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):
  • Midget Fritted Glass Bubbler (MFGB) containing 15 mL TiOSO4
  • maximum volume: 100 Liters
  • maximum flow rate: 0.5 L/min
  • current analytical method: Colorimetric
  • method reference: OSHA Manual of Analytical Methods (OSHA VI-6)
  • method classification: Partially Validated
  • alternate analytical method: Polarographic
  • method reference: OSHA Manual of Analytical Methods (OSHA ID-126SG)
  • method classification: Partially Validated
  • note: Submit as a separate sample. OSHA personnel may obtain sampling solution from the Salt Lake Technical Center.
On-Site Sampling Techniques/Methods:
  • Detector Tube
  • manufacturer: Dräger
  • model/type: Hydrogen Peroxide 0.1/a, order no. 81 01041
  • sampling information: 20 strokes
  • upper measurement limit: 3 ppm
  • detection limit: approximately 0.05 ppm
  • overall uncertainty: approximately 25%
  • method reference: on-site air secondary (manufacturer)
  • Detector Tube
  • manufacturer: Gastec
  • model/type: 32
  • sampling information: 5 strokes
  • upper measurement limit: 10 ppm
  • detection limit: 0.1 ppm
  • overall uncertainty: 16% for 0.5 to 2 ppm, 8% for 4 to 10 ppm
  • method reference: on-site air secondary (manufacturer)

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