8.2.5 Hydrogen peroxide and Peracids

Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and peracids are strong oxidants and are active against vegetative bacteria, spores and viruses.  They are safer than chlorine to both humans and the environment.  Hydrogen peroxide is available as a 3 percent ready-to-use solution or as a 30 percent aqueous solution that should be diluted 5-10 times with sterilized water before use; however, 3-6 percent solutions are slow acting and limited as germicides.  Hydrogen peroxide can be used on work surfaces of laboratory benches and biosafety cabinets; stronger solutions can be used to disinfect heat-sensitive medical/dental devices.  

Note: Hydrogen peroxide and peracids are corrosive to metals, including aluminium, copper, brass and zinc, and can decolourize fabrics, hair, skin and mucous membranes.  Items treated with them must be thoroughly rinsed before contact with eyes and mucous membranes.