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DANGERS of working with Strong PEROXIDE .. a read and learn article

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Sea Wolf, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. Jason O

    Jason O Active Member

    is it just me or is the info on page 1 missing
  2. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    It was. I had changed the picture locations on the server. The copies of the magazine article are there to read now.

  3. Wow; pretty terrifying read. Definitely not something that I plan to do!
  4. People should also watch out when putting "nature-cleaned" skulls into peroxide. Especially if the soil contained fertilizer or iron, which lots of soil does.
  5. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    That probably wouldn't be enough to trigger a reaction like in the article. It would have to be the purified and smelted out metal. This does not apply to the 3% peroxide. Possibly also not the hair salon type. The peroxide in the article was very high percentage stuff but any chemical we deal with should be handled as potentially hazardous.
  6. Yeah; it is not a huge reaction. I had a few inches of regular brown-bottle peroxide in a plastic bowl once. I placed in a raccoon skull that I had naturally cleaned (without rinsing it; I had had it in a flower pot that contained fertilizer in the form of those little white pellets) and the mixture started bubbling almost to the top of the bowl and getting hot. I remember (it was awhile back; lol) running outside with it and dumping it.
  7. VacantEyes

    VacantEyes New Member

    This is very useful and mortifying at the same time. I hope no one minds me posting on this as it's not been posted on for a while.
    I dye my hair, A LOT, and have been since I was about 12, so peroxide is something I've used a lot of. The salon stuff still noticeably reacts, but not to house ruining proportions shown in the article. I can think of two occasions where I've had "mishaps". First, I have stainless steel hair grips to section off hair as I bleach it, but I got these mixed with some regular hair grips, after about 20 minutes (normally you can, and I do, leave it on for 90 minutes), the hair grips had reacted with the peroxide and the heat had burnt away every bit of hair it was touching - not pleasant. Second occasion, I accidentally dropped something metallic (can't remember what it was now) into the pot of peroxide, sat downstairs for the 90 minutes, came back to wash it off and the heat from the pot had melted the plastic toilet cistern somewhat (oops) - not all the way through, but it was definitely there.
  8. kermmie30

    kermmie30 New Member

    So tell me somebody....by the way, thanks so much for this post!!! If I choose to use the 30%, what kind of container should I put this in and what do I use for fishing out the skulls that would be non-metallic or not melt? How long do you actually soak the skulls to where they are considered "done"?

    I was just about to order this 30% peroxide from a chemical company today and was scanning these posts. Wow..

    I had recently heard of a person who has died as a result of an explosion related to this peroxide bath but didn't get much detail.

    If using the 12% by volume, how long would it take for them to soak until they are considered done?

    Any advice would be great.

    The Game Changer
  9. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    I use a 5 gallon Home Depot bucket for most things. Make a pinhole in the lid and keep it covered. Strongest I use is the 27% pool grade. A soak of 4 hours or less is usually plenty if it is fully cleaned.
  10. kermmie30

    kermmie30 New Member

    Awesome Sea Wolf. Thanks for the info. I will use plastic containers-heavy duty. I can't get the 27% locally so I will have to get the 35%. I presume about half the time to soak would be best? So keep a lid on it when not in use and drill hole in the lid? Also, what ambient temperature in the room where I am working with it would be best? I presume the cooler the better? I do know that light affects the peroxide so I will probably have the tubs kept in my pump house cellar. The only time the light is one is when I am checking the beetle tanks. The ambient temperature is about 65 all year round. So what is the process when you take it out of the peroxide? Do you just sit it somewhere and let it dry with it on or do you rinse under cool water? I know water reacts violently with peroxide so I am wondering about this part. I don't want my skulls snow white. Just natural ivory color. Thanks for any help. Kim
  11. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    If you want ivory, then maybe soak for an hour and then check. Keep checking until the color is what you like. After a while, you will get a feel for what works. The 27% I use I get from pool and spa supply places. In New England, a store called "Ocean State Job Lot" also carries it in gallons in season. When they get it in, I stock up for the whole year. I wrap my peroxide buckets with duct tape as they are often left out in the work area. The pin hole prevents the buildup of oxygen inside. 65 would be a fine temperature to keep it at. I normally just take the skull out, rinse it well and let it dry. The peroxide continues to beak down into Oxygen and water so there is nothing left when dry. I sometimes take the skull and submerge it in hot water. This caused the leftover peroxide to react quickly and a lot of Oxygen is released. I don't feel it does anything beneficial other than getting rid of the peroxide faster so I can handle it without "singed" fingertips. These lower grades of peroxide are not a problem with water. Peroxide is not an acid and I have never seen a reaction with water. In fact, I often dilute the 27% to make it last longer. Word of warning if you have never handled the stronger stuff. It burns like hell if you get it on you. If you splash even the tiniest drop of this in one of your eyes you will be permanently blinded.
  12. kermmie30

    kermmie30 New Member

    Thanks Sea Wolf. I might try the pool and spa place. I am used to the dangers of hazardous materials. I was a hazardous material coordinator in the Navy and thankfully, with the awesome training I got, I am very safety conscious of the hazzards associated to handling chemicals. I use plastic gloves for handling even the 30 by volume stuff. I am not fond of that feeling either...singed fingers. The worst experience I had with that stuff was when I first started using it, the stuff got under my fingernails and talk about horrible! It was like somebody was peeling my fingernails off with pliers! lol
    So the only thing I need to be concerned about is not to handle anything around these dipping tanks (which need to be heavy duty plastic?) using plastic gloves? Keep away from anything wood or metal? I am sure there will be a book that comes as an MSDS sheet and be pretty greek but I want the simple and straight. so plastic, plastic, plastic when handling anything associated to it?
  13. aboutpostal

    aboutpostal Member

    thanks for the post, i have the number posted in big numbers in a couple different area's
  14. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

  15. good to see this at the top again.
  16. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Folks are playing around with 50% peroxide. The disaster in the article was with only 35%. 50% is beyond dangerous and will self ignite if spilled or if even drops of it get onto something. Lets not read about you in the papers. 50% does NOT do a better job than 35% or even 27%. A shortening of whitening time but that is all.
  17. lizardguts

    lizardguts skull collector

    This really should've been made into a sticky by now
  18. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    I agree. Another member came close to looking for new housing playing with this stuff.
  19. WildlifeLady

    WildlifeLady Member

    You can get good results by these methods without using high percentages :

    1. Basic white mixed with 40vol/12 percent. After boiling/degreasing mix these two ingredients into a paste and brush on the skull. Set out in sub for 24 hours. Brush off with toothbrush, apply sealer.

    2. Magnesium carbonate mixed with 3 percent. Same procedure.

    3. Basic white, magnesium carbonate, 40vol/12. Same procedure.

    I find that maceration, soaking of any kind tends to loosen the teeth plus makes an awful nasty smelling mess.

    My best method, albeit 35 percent, works like this.

    1. All plastic: storage, bowls, tabletop, spoons, etc.
    2. I remove all meat.
    3. Boil in sodium carbonate(Arm and Hammer washing soda, touch of Dawn.(I use beetles)
    4. Submerge just to antler base, drape paper towels around base to let peroxide soak to edge.
    5. Leave in no more than 12 hours.(less for small skulls)
    6. Remove and rinse under lukewarm water, set aside to drain/dry.
    7. Stain antler base where needed. (yes, they will turn white)
    8. Sealer applied.

    35 percent will eat up any cartilage left, so the teeth will be loose and/or fall out. Be prepared to use glue.
    Food grade peroxide is used by well drilling companies to kill bacteria and algae in water wells. Does that tell you how string it is?
    Nasty stuff, use gloves, glasses, keep away from kids and pets. Get it off if your hands and skin immediately.

    Too much trouble, send it out to be done.
  20. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    It is supposed to. When the teeth come out you know that the sockets and inside any hollow teeth are also completely clean. Gluing them in takes moments to do.

    You can also use talcum powder as a carrier for peroxide to do the paste method. Though it might get packed into small cracks and need some scrubbing to dislodge.

    Peroxide will not dissolve larger bits of cartilage but it will make it appear clear. After it dries and has set for several months it will turn yellow

    Many people use high percentage peroxide safely. There are others that really have no idea how dangerous it can be but think it will do a better job because it is stronger.. This article was posted here to give them that information.