Organic peroxides must always be handled by skilled personnel, wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE): goggles and protective clothing and gloves should be worn whenever handling peroxides.
Organic peroxides are formulated to reduce severity. However, these safer formulations remain sensitive and must be handled with care.
Handling procedures should be set up to ensure that peroxides are protected from sources of heat such as hot ambient air, radiators, pipes, direct sunlight, sparks and flames. The recommended storage temperature should be observed at all times. Smoking, drinking and eating must be strictly forbidden when handling organic peroxides.
At the workplace, only the minimum quantity of peroxide required for one operation should be stored.
Organic peroxides must be kept in their original containers, and must be kept closed, since any contact with rust, ashes, dirt, accelerators, promotors and many other chemicals can lead to a violent decomposition.
Peroxides should not be kept in glass or metal vessels where a built-up of pressure by decomposition cannot be noticed.
Return of unused organic peroxide to the original container is not allowed due to risk of contamination.
Spilled materials must be soaked up immediately on an inert absorbent. It should then be taken up by non-sparking equipment and disposed of according to local regulations. When using absorbing material (like vermiculite), the contaminated material must be soaked with water. Spills of solids must also be damped with water before taken up and disposed. The place where the spillage occurred should then be cleaned with water containing a surfactant to guarantee that no traces of peroxide are left.
Waste material must be disposed of according to local regulations. The most common procedure consists of diluting the product with inert organic solvents to less than 1% active oxygen content and incinerate it as a chemical waste.
Strong acids and bases, strong oxidizers, reducing agents and transition metals, accelerators, amines are generally seen as incompatible chemicals to organic peroxides, potentially leading to violent decomposition and reducing SADT. Iron, copper, brass as well as natural rubber should not be used as material in contact with organic peroxides.
Classification and labelling depend on product properties and are described in the Safety Data Sheet according to the Directive 1272/2008/EEC (CLP Regulation) and its amendments. The relevant symbols and Hazard and Precaution phrases are on the label.
In addition to this labelling, each package is also identified by the yellow/red N°5.2 “Organic Peroxide” warning symbol according to transport regulation.
OPPSD reference for US: Safety and Handling of Organic Peroxides
Documents and best practices
General safe handling (Germany)
DGUV-Information 213-069 - Organische Peroxide, Gefahrstoffe (in German, formerly M001)
DGUV-Information 213-096 - Organische Peroxide, Antworten auf häufig gestellte Fragen (in German, formerly M058)
PPE (gloves, goggles, …), for more information, see relevant Safety Data Sheet.
Read also section on transport safety.