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7.15 Reactive and Potentially Explosive Chemicals

Reactive chemicals such as strong oxidizers and reducers, and air/water reactive chemicals must be disposed of through the hazardous waste management program. Because of their reactive nature, it is important to minimize the quantity of reactive chemicals in storage. If the integrity of the container appears to be compromised, then dispose of the chemicals as hazardous waste promptly. Never dispose of reactive chemicals, such as Sodium metal, regardless of the quantity, down the drain or in the normal trash. Such practices can result in fires, toxic vapors and gases being released, and injury to people. When disposing of these compounds, please note any special hazards on the Hazardous Waste Label.

Some of these compounds can become unstable and potentially explosive over time due to contamination with air, water, other material, or when the chemical dries out. If you come across any chemical that you suspect could be potentially explosive, do not attempt to move the container as some of these compounds are shock, heat, and friction sensitive. Be sure to let others in the lab or work area know the chemical exists and the potential explosion hazard.  Submit a question using "askEHS".  If you feel that there is an immediate potential hazard, please contact EHS at 607-255-8200 for more assistance.

Explosive Compounds

​Examples of potentially explosive chemicals include:

  • Benzoyl peroxide (dry)​
  • ​Diazo compounds
  • 2,4-Dinitrophenyl hydrazine (dry)​
  • Nitrocellulose
  • Peroxide forming compounds
  • Picric acid (dry)
  • ​Sodium amide
  • Trinitro-compounds