Date: Wed, 2 Nov 2011 09:55:49 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**>
From: Russ Phifer <rphifer**At_Symbol_Here**WCENVIRONMENTAL.COM>
Organization: WC Environmental, LLC
Subject: Re: Peroxide Formers - Questions
In-Reply-To: <674f89fe-6208-46d0-9a9b-26cb2c4e3b5a**At_Symbol_Here**>

Don - the statement you quote - "No special disposal precautions are required for peroxide contaminated Class B materials" - comes with a caveat. The table describing Class B peroxide formers indicates they are "a peroxide hazard on concentration (distillation/evaporation). A test for peroxide should be performed if concentration is intended or suspected." So, waste chemicals from that list which are "contaminated" with peroxides would not be expected to pose an explosion hazard in the disposal process unless they are extremely concentrated. Several hundred ppms should not pose a threat. That said, many disposal contractors will still want to charge extra for disposal of "reactives" if there appears to be any concern.


In my over 30 years of handling reactive/explosive chemicals for waste disposal, I have yet to see crystals forming in the threads of a plastic cap that posed a threat, at least for Class B peroxide formers. The potential energy just isn' there to initiate a detonation. My disclaimer - nothing gets my attention quicker than a completely peroxidized Class A material! What we're talking about, though, is "contaminated"

Class B materials which have not been distilled or evaporated to dryness.


I don' recall this being a major issue during the writing of the 2011 Prudent Practices, at least during the preparation of the waste management chapter. We did state that many disposal facilities require peroxide testing for characterization of peroxide-forming materials, but this doesn' necessarily impact waste classification for regulatory purposes. The definition of reactivity is rather vague in respect to low level contamination.


If anyone has documentation of the detonation of a Class B peroxide-forming solvent based on "contamination" only, I'd love to hear about it, particularly if twisting a cap was the friction/ignition source.




Russ Phifer

WC Environmental, LLC

1085C Andrew Drive

West Chester, PA=C2 19380

610-696-9220x12/ fax 610-344-7519

Cell - 610-322-0657

rphifer**At_Symbol_Here** !


P Please consider your environmental responsibility before printing this e-mail or any other document


From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Don Abramowitz
Sent: Wednesday, November 02, 2011 8:28 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Peroxide Formers - Questions


As I understand the hazard, the peroxides present an explosion/ignition hazard only when dry.  Solvent wastes are typically burned, either in an incinerator or approved cement kiln.  Peroxide-containing solvent blends fed into such a system, I imagine, are of no consequence.    I would think at very high concentrations, there'd still be some concern with solvent on the initial container's threads drying and leaving a crystalline residue that would be subject to friction upon opening the container.  That would still be a concern in the initial steps of handling the solvent as a waste (i.e., opening the container to test for peroxides in the first place).

So, a recently expired  bottle of solvent that tests positive for peroxides gets moved along the process (lab packed, or blended with other solvents in a larger container for disposal) without worry.   If the bottle contained a very high concentration of peroxides in solution (I don't know what numbers apply), I would venture that it would still move safely through the system, as long as it stayed in solution.  In addition to the challenge of opening the container, I would think the other worry would be spilling the solution and having the residue dry out.  

Caveat: this is strictly conjecture.  If anyone can introduce some additional facts, it would be most welcome.


Donald Abramowitz
Environmental Health & Safety Officer
Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr, PA



Greetings all,


Our hazardous waste manager and I have been reviewing the new 2011 Prudent Practices with regard to peroxide formers and have a question.


If anyone has a copy, on page 73 the last sentence of the second paragraph states:


"No special disposal precautions are required for peroxide contaminated Class B materials."


What is meant by this statement?


I understand that diethyl ether will test positive for peroxides at the expiration date but may not be considered unsafe because the concentration is very low. So what about after it has increased to >100 ppm?






Christopher E. Kohler

Certified Chemical Hygiene Officer

Laboratory Safety Manager

Indiana University

Office of Environmental, Health, and Safety Management

1514 East Third Street

Bloomington, IN 47405

(812) 855-6311




From:DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Wardecke, Jon
Sent: Monday, October 31, 2011 9:31 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Peroxide Formers - Questions

 The updated version (2011) of Prudent Practices in the Laboratory, Handling and Disposal of Chemicals lists peroxide formers as Group A, B and C.   This may be in line with the CRC Handbook=E2=80=A6but I do not have a recent copy.  JW


Jon Wardecke, CIH, HEMOccupational Safety & Health Manager/Industrial Hygienist


From:DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Kohler, Christopher E
Sent: Monday, October 31, 2011 7:19 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Peroxide Formers - Questions




Ithought I'd throw this out for its educational value.


For those that may not be aware, there are two lists of peroxide formers that appear to compete with each other: Groups a through D and Class I, II, and III.


1. Prudent Practices in the Laboratory, Handling and Disposal of Chemicals, 1995, National Academies Press.

Note: Prudent Practices in the Laboratory designates peroxide formers as Class I, II, III and they are listed from the LEAST dangerous to the MOST dangerous respectively.


2. CRC Handbook of Laboratory Safety, Furr, A. Keith, 2000, CRC Press

Note: CRC Handbook of Laboratory Safety designates peroxide formers as Group A, B, C, D and they are listed from the MOST dangerous to the LEAST dangerous respectively.



Certified Chemical Hygiene Officer

Laboratory Safety Manager

Indiana University

Office of Environmental, Health, and Safety Management

1514 East Third Street

Bloomington, IN 47405

(812) 855-6311


From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Chance, Brandon
Sent: Sunday, October 30, 2011 2:42 AM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Peroxide Formers - Questions




Originally we were using Sensafe Water-works test strips.  Although

designed for use with water they did give positive and negative results in

solvents.  It should probably be considered more of a qualitative than a

quantitative test.  I can say with certainty that when testing dozens of

bottles of diethyl ether and THF, the older bottles showed higher peroxide

levels than newer bottles, many of which gave no detectable reading.


I just recently received something called XploSens PS from a company

called Xplosafe via Sigma Aldrich.  Unfortunately the Sigma website was a

bit misleading as I was expecting quantitative strips.  These are purely a

qualitative strip.


If anyone on the board has any testing strip recommendations, then I am

all ears.




Brandon Chance, M.S.


Safety and Environmental Compliance Manager

Office of Building Operations & HSSE

Texas A&M University at Qatar




PO Box 23874 | Doha, Qatar

TAMUQ Building Room 225E | Education City


(o) +974.4423.0495 | (m) +974.6668.3552 | SkypeIn USA 001.281.764.1776


It=C2=B9s Time For Texas A&M







On 10/28/11 10:40 PM, "Pumphrey, Richard" <r.pumphrey**At_Symbol_Here**NEU.EDU> wrote:



>Can you tell me what test kit you use?  We have not been able to find a

>reliable test for peroxides in solvents.


>Richard Pumphrey

>Northeastern University



>----- Original Message -----

>From: Chance, Brandon [mailto:brandon.chance**At_Symbol_Here**QATAR.TAMU.EDU]

>Sent: Friday, October 28, 2011 03:22 PM


>Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Peroxide Formers - Questions




>Due to our location, it takes 6 months or longer in many cases to order

>and receive chemicals and shipping can be very expensive.  It is not

>feasible to order a few bottles of ethyl ether or THF every month and we

>must order in bulk quantities meaning that things are at least halfway

>through their shelf life before we even receive them.  Because of this,

>we have a program in place for peroxide monitoring.  In a nutshell, once

>the expiration date is reached, the chemicals are tested every six months

>for peroxide formation and the bottles are tagged showing testing and

>results.  If it tests positive (I think the level we use is over 20ppm

>but will have to reference my notes back at the office on Sunday), then

>we handle the neutralization and disposal.  Due to our location, we are

>not comfortable with the waste company handling compounds that test

>positive,so we neutralize them ourselves before sending them off as



>If there is something we can not handle; for example, the discovery of

>ethers that expired in the early 90s, then we call out the military to

>handle the retrieval and disposal.


>I am not sure if this helps, but thought I would give you my two cents.




>Brandon Chance


>Safety and Environmental Compliance Manager

>Office of Building Operations & HSSE

>Texas A&M University at Qatar




>PO Box 23874 | Doha, Qatar

>TAMUQ Building Room 225E | Education City


>(o) +974.4423.0495 | (m) +974.6668.3552 | SkypeIn USA 001.281.764.1776




>It=C2=B9sTime For Texas A&M








>Date: Fri, 28 Oct 2011 10:55:07 -0400

>To: <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU<mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>>

>Subject: [DCHAS-L] Peroxide Formers - Questions





>I would like to know how folks are handling peroxide formers.   Some

>background on my program is that we have 2 lists.   Group A =C2=AD we require

>disposal after 3 months from opening (i.e. Sodium amide).  And Group B =C2=AD

>we require disposal 12 months after opening and 24 months after receipt

>(whichever comes first) (i.e. ether, THF=C5 etc.).


>Specifically, I would like to know what folks do for the following:


>1.      A researcher identifies a peroxide former is past the expiration

>date.  What do they do?


>a.       Call EHS


>b.      Do you have date ranges that then trigger EHS.   For example, if

>THF is 1 year past its required disposal date then do they call EHS.

>But if the date is within 1 year past the disposal date then they follow

>normal waste disposal guidelines.


>2.      What are your timeframes for requiring folks to contact EHS?


>a.      Group A


>b.      Group B


>3.       Do you have timeframes for when EHS would consider the material

>a =C2=B3High Hazard=C2=B2 and call in a High haz waste contractor?


>4.      Or, do you rely on visual cues and knowledge of the specific



>Your feedback is appreciated.    Thanks




>Bill Galdenzi


>Environmental, Health, and Safety


>Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals


>(203) 778-7759







>webbi/employeeinf/safetyenv/index.jsp> to see the EHS webpage


> << OLE Object: Picture (Device Independent Bitmap) >>


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