ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences




Benzoyl peroxide, benzoic acid peroxide, benzoyl superoxide.
A white, free flowing granular powder, which in dry form is friction and shock sensitive. Is an organic peroxide.
Never use directly with accelerators, promoters, activators or other reducing agents. May cause explosion. Heating yields toxic flammable fumes with explosive potential. In dry form is friction and shock sensitive.
This substance should be handled in a fume cupboard. It may cause severe damage to the eyes and is an irritant to the skin. No information cited on inhalation or ingestion.
Use a fume hood.
Avoid skin and eye contact.
Keep away from heat or naked flames.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
Use a fume hood to minimise exposure to this substance. Wear protective clothing to avoid skin or eye contact, inhalation or ingestion. A long sleeved laboratory coat or gown, rubber gloves, safety goggles and a face mask as a minimum standard.
Skin ­ immediately wash the affected area with soap or mild detergent and large amounts of water until all evidence of the chemical has been removed (approximately 15 minutes). If hypersensitivity develops seek medical attention.
Eyes ­ wash the affected eye with large amounts of water until all evidence of the chemical has been removed (approximately 15 minutes). If irritation or pain persist seek immediate medical attention.
Inhalation ­ remove from the area of exposure to fresh air. Keep warm and allow to rest. If irritation persists or signs of toxicity develop seek medical attention.
Ingestion ­ wash out the mouth thoroughly with water and give water to drink. Do not induce vomiting. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person. Seek immediate medical advice.
Store in a cool, dry atmosphere away from heat or ignition sources.
Keep your stock low and date each container as received. Never transfer to glass stoppered containers or screw cap bottles which can cause dangerous friction. See code 15 for ether peroxides.
Rubber gloves, large heavy face shield and laboratory coat. Work under a flash proof fume hood and from behind a heavy body shield.
Eliminate all sources of ignition.
Liquid peroxide; spills may be absorbed in a large quantity of vermiculite or sand. Using a soft, plastic scoop, carefully place the mixture in a plastic container. Spread on a steel pan or in a deep pit. Ignite from a safe distance with a torch or fuse. Wash the scoop and container with 20% sodium hydroxide. Burn the original cartons and bags.
Solid peroxide; spills should be mixed with a large volume of vermiculite or sand. Cautiously transfer to a deep pit and ignite from a safe distance with a torch or fuse.
Small quantity; a very small amount of solid or liquid may be destroyed by adding 10 volumes of 20% sodium hydroxide. after 24 hours, neutralise using litmus paper as an indicator then discharge to the sewer with a large excess of water.
Absorb or mix in small portions of vermiculite or sand. Wet down with 10% sodium hydroxide. Scoop up with plastic scoops and remove to an open incinerator-pit. When dry, ignite from a safe distance with a torch or fuse.


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