NIOSH logo and tagline

Hydrogen Peroxide


CAS No. 7722-84-1

Hydrogen Peroxide (H₂O₂) is a colorless liquid with a slightly sharp odor. Hydrogen peroxide can cause irritation to the eyes, nose, skin, and throat. Workers may be harmed from exposure to hydrogen peroxide. The level of exposure depends upon the dose, duration, and work being done.

Hydrogen peroxide is used in many industries. In industry, hydrogen peroxide in higher concentrations is used as a bleach for textiles and paper, as a component of rocket fuels, and for producing foam rubber and organic chemicals. It’s also used in medicinal applications and to bleach clothes and hair. Workers may be exposed to hydrogen peroxide through inhalation or contact with the skin. Examples of workers who may be exposed to hydrogen peroxide include the following:

  • Workers in poultry plants that use it in chemical disinfectants
  • Stylists in beauty salons who use colorant products
  • Hospitals and healthcare workers
  • Factory workers in plants that manufacture foam rubber

NIOSH recommends that employers use Hierarchy of Controls to prevent injuries.  If you work in an industry that uses hydrogen peroxide, please read chemical labels and the accompanying Safety Data Sheets for hazard information. Visit NIOSH’s page on Managing Chemical Safety in the Workplace to learn more about controlling chemical workplace exposures.

The following resources provide information about occupational exposure to hydrogen peroxide. Useful search terms for hydrogen peroxide include “high-strength hydrogen peroxide,” “hydrogen dioxide,” “hydrogen peroxide (aqueous),” “hydroperoxide,” and “peroxide.”

NIOSH Chemical Resources

Related NIOSH Resources

Related Resources


International Resources