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Oxidising Properties

By Little Pro on 2016-01-13 Views:  Update:2017-01-18

A substance with oxidizing properties may, when brought into contact with chemically oxidizable organic or inorganic substances, bring about dangerous reactions causing fire, explosion, or the formation of other hazardous substances. Common oxidizers include hydrogen peroxide, potassium permanganate, nitrites, and bromates.

Regulatory Implications of Oxidising Properties

Substances with oxidizing properties can give rise to a highly exothermic reaction in contact with other substances, in particular with flammable substances. They can have irritating effects to skin, eyes and to the respiratory tract as they can react with the human tissue under formation of high temperatures thus destructing biological material.

Shippers need to determine if a material belongs to Class 5 dangerous goods (oxidizing substances and organic peroxides) or not prior to shipment. Oxidizing substances and organic peroxides shall be handled, stored and transported in compliance with dangerous goods regulations. Their hazards shall be communicated in safety data sheets.

In many cases, specific tests are not necessary to determine whether or not a substance is oxidizing; examination of its structural formula may provide predictive information. Organic peroxides, for instance, are generally considered as oxidizing, even in the absence of test results. The only doubt is whether they should also be considered as explosive; for this, experimental evidence is needed.

Common oxidising substances include peroxides, chlorates, nitrates, nitrites, perchlorates, permanganates, persulphates and hypochlorites.

Under REACH, this study does not need to be conducted if:

  • the substance is explosive, or
  • the substance is highly flammable, or
  • the substance is an organic peroxide, or
  • the substance is incapable of reacting exothermically with combustible materials, for example on the basis of the chemical structure (e.g. organic substances not containing oxygen or halogen atoms and these elements are not chemically bonded to nitrogen or oxygen, or inorganic substances not containing oxygen or halogen atoms).

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