Hydrogen Peroxide Safety (H
Hydrogen Peroxide is a biocidal chemical often used in healthcare for medical device sterilization and in food processing for aseptic filling/packaging. Hydrogen peroxide is a highly corrosive chemical. Know the facts for process management and safety. If you are strictly looking for the regulations that have been set for Hydrogen Peroxide safety or the products that we offer to protect all employees from the risks of H2O2, visit one of our other pages. Skip to find exactly what you're looking for with one of our quick links below:
Understanding Hydrogen Peroxide
High concentration Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) is a strongly oxidizing chemical that is used as a biocide, chemical reagent, sterilant and bleaching agent. The vapor is odorless and colorless, which makes it impossible to know if you are over-exposure to it, without monitoring. When using high concentration H2O2, it is important to proceed with caution because of the health and safety risks associated with it. The high reactivity of hydrogen peroxide makes the vapor hazardous to anyone exposed to it, but hydrogen peroxide rapidly breaks down in the environment making it environmentally friendly. In healthcare and manufacturing processes Hydrogen Peroxide has the advantage that it breaks down into oxygen and water leaving no chemical residues. Hydrogen Peroxide vapor is the most common form of low temperature sterilization in healthcare and is also widely used in food processing for aseptic filling/packaging. High concentration Hydrogen Peroxide also finds extensive use for bleaching textiles and paper. However, despite its usefulness, H2O2 vapor can be hazardous to workers who are exposed over occupational exposure limits.
Microbiocidal Activity: Hydrogen Peroxide has been shown to be effective against all forms of microorganisms, including dormant forms with known high chemical resistance such as bacterial spores and protozoal cysts, and also infectious proteins such as prions depending on the specific use of the chemical. The same reactivity that makes hydrogen peroxide vapor effective against microorganisms makes exposure to it hazardous to us larger creatures too.
Applications for High Concentration Hydrogen Peroxide
High concentration Hydrogen Peroxide is used in aseptic packaging, which is an essential part of delivering a safe food product to the public. Use of this hazardous chemical in large quantities and high concentration means that it is essential to manage any worker health and safety issues that may arise related to the use of this chemical. Hydrogen peroxide safety is essential to employee safety in your facility.
Hospital Sterile Processing
The use of high concentration Hydrogen Peroxide in hospital sterile processing departments came about as a replacement for Ethylene Oxide. People consider Hydrogen Peroxide safer than Ethylene Oxide, which is not the case. H2O2 has the same occupational exposure limit as EtO and the IDLH (immediately dangerous to life and health) level for H202 is 75 ppm, compared to EtO's IDLH of 800 ppm.
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