Hydrogen peroxide- sets off asthma?

hi, i have asked this on the KA bords but thought tere might b more peole on here who no the answer2 this. i am doing A level biology and for our course work we are useing hydrogen peroxide. A year or so ago a chemical i used in an experiment off an asthma attack and i ened up in hospital. But i can't remeber its name and i have a feeling it could be hydrogen peroxide but not sure. Does anyone no if Hydrogen peroxide can set asthma off. i need 2 no so i can discuss with teacher as i really don't want 2 end up in hopsital but really need 2 do the course work.

thank u chloex

8 Replies

  • You may need to be careful. Hydrogen peroxide when used as a hair dye sets off my asthma but everyone is different. Might be worth asking your teacher if you can check by exposing yourself to a very small amount rather than waiting until you get into a class full of the stuff.

    Hope you are ok

  • Hydrogen peroxide doesn't trigger my asthma at all ( I use it every day at work- I am a scientist). I am guessing it is not a common trigger as it didn't come up in the risk assessment that occupational health did.

    Hydrogen peroxide is found in things like bleach, so do you react with things like toilet cleaner or certain hair dyes?

    Are you sloshing the hydrogen peroxide around? because then you are obviously inhaling it. Could you do the experiment in a fumehood?

    As you needed to go to hospital presumably the teacher would have had to fill in some kind of incident form and therefore she/he should have recorded what the lesson involved and what chemicals were used. I would chat to him/her.

    If you do have a problem with it, they must be able to make some exemption for you, I know people who couldn't do the titrations in A level chemistry because they were colour blind, and that didn't seem to be a problem.

    In a lab the chemicals that give the most trouble are volatile organic compounds like phenols and formaldehyde, also I find weighing any fine powder particularly detergents can irritate me.

    Hope some of my waffle is helpful! Can I ask what you are doing with the peroxide? (just being nosy).

  • I have been known to get very breathless when we are using it, but I always know when we are going to use it in an exp because we prepare it beforehand in the classroom, as in write uit up. I always ask to be allowed to go to the study hall if we are using it.

    If it has been known to trigger you before, You shouldn't really go to that exp. I am sure your teachers will understand.

  • hi, thanks 4 the replys. I am using it to in an enzym recation. to see how different volumes effect the amout of oxygen release by a potato because potoas have the enzyme catalase which quockend up the decomposing of the oxygen and water. we are not heating it but there is going 2 be about 15 of these experiments going on at once and it will buble and stuf. the teacher wh happend last with has left so i don't no if there is anything filed out on it. i will emil my teacher ijust feel a bit stupid. things like cleaning agents do set me off.

    thank u choex

  • I can't stand household cleaning products! Luckily OH and I have an agreement, he does the cleaning I do the cooking lol. I can always feel my chest tightening whenever I am anywhere near any of these things, it is horrible.

    Hope you can get your tutor to understand and you are not put in a difficult position.


  • Hi... There are some free leaflets that you may be able to get from AUK regarding this ...and pass to your teacher

    Good luck...

    I can only steam clean as All Chemicals can set me off


  • Hiya there,

    I find some of the organic solvents that are used in synthesis labs can set me asthma off (I'm currently halfway through my first year of a Chemistry degree). My lecturers are generally really helpful and let me go off and get some fresh air and stuff if I'm feeling a bit tight. Just have a word with your teacher and see what they can do, is it vital you use Hydrogen Peroxide? or could you use something else that won't set you off. Also I find it helpful to have a puff of my blue inhaler about half an hour before my lab class and again during my lunch hour if I'm handling things that make my asthma bad such as organic residues and Bromine gets on my chest too!!

    I'm sure your teacher can sort something out

    Best of luck

    Claire x

  • thank u

    thanks all, hve spken to my teacher and she was great, she doesn't think it will but if i feel theslightess bad 2 go out side.

    it hasn't set me off so far so fingers cross it won't



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