What does 30 volumes of hydrogen peroxide mean

Hydrogen peroxideDrug groupsHydrogen peroxide is an active ingredient from the group of peroxides and oxidizing agents, which is used in the form of aqueous solutions as a disinfectant, cleaning agent and bleaching agent. It is disinfecting, antibacterial, oxidizing, bleaching and eliminating odors. The effects are based on the provision of oxygen. Concentrated solutions are irritating and harmful to health and, if used incorrectly, can cause serious undesirable effects.

synonymous: Hydrogenii peroxidum, H2O2, hydrogen peroxide, Hydrogenii peroxidum solutio, Hydrogen PeroxideINCI, "hydrogen"


Hydrogen peroxide solutions are available in pharmacies and drugstores as open goods in medical or technical quality up to 35%. Concentrated solutions (30%) are usually in stock, common dilutions (e.g. 3%, 6%, 10%) can be produced or ordered ad hoc in the company's laboratory. The specialist trade procures hydrogen peroxide from specialized suppliers.

Hydrogen peroxide is also found in finished medicines, cosmetics, hair dyes, tooth whitening products (in the form of carbamide peroxide), toothpaste, contact lens fluid, stain removers, specialty detergents, and other parapharmaceuticals.

Structure and properties

Hydrogen peroxide (H.2O2, Mr = 34.0 g / mol) is available as a clear, colorless liquid and as an aqueous solution in various concentrations. It can be mixed with water, has no odor or has a slight to pungent odor of ozone. It is the simplest and best-known representative of the peroxides.

The European Pharmacopoeia defines two concentrations:


Hydrogen peroxide (ATC D08AX01) has antiseptic and antibacterial properties against germs. It is irritating, oxidizing (partly reducing), bleaching and eliminating odors. It also lathers and cleans wounds mechanically. The effects only last for a short time, depend on the concentration and are based on the release of oxygen. Hydrogen peroxide is broken down into water and oxygen:

The decomposition takes place via oxygen radicals. It is reactive and disintegrates or reacts on contact with oxidizable organic substances or metals (e.g. copper, iron) and in alkaline solution. Metals, metal salts, coal, catalysts (catalase), light, movement and heat promote the decomposition.

That is why stabilizers such as acids (phosphoric acid) or metal chelators are added to the solutions. The solutions should be stored protected from light, contamination and heat. If they do not contain a stabilizer, they should be stored below 15 ° C.

According to the DMS, hydrogen peroxide 3% stabilized with phosphoric acid can be stored for 12 months. Hänseler states an expiration of around 3 years for the stabilized concentrated solution.

application areas

Hydrogen peroxide is used medicinally as a disinfectant and for cleaning wounds in concentrations of 1.5 to 6%. Its use is particularly controversial for chronic wounds because it may delay wound healing.

On the other hand, hydrogen peroxide is an endogenous substance with numerous positive effects. It is also used as a mouth rinse (e.g. 1.5%) and for teeth whitening. These uses are also not undisputed due to the possible undesirable effects.

Technically or cosmetically, it is used, for example, as a cleaning agent, as a chemical, for water treatment, as a bleach for paper, hair, furs and textiles.

It is a popular antler and bone bleaching agent in hunting areas.


According to the package insert or technical instructions. Because concentrated hydrogen peroxide burns, it is important to use the correct dilution.

Precautions and unwanted effects

Concentrated solutions are irritating and harmful to health and cause burning burns of the skin, the mucous membranes and the respiratory tract with a white encrustation. In case of skin or eye contact, rinse immediately with plenty of water.

The solutions must not be ingested or inhaled and if they come in contact, they may cause serious eye damage. Since they release oxygen when heated, they can cause fires or explosions and should not be heated.

Hydrogen peroxide is one of the precursors for explosives.

When mixed with incompatible substances, explosive decomposition can occur.

The complete precautionary measures can be found in the safety data sheet and in the instructions for use.

When handling concentrated solutions, the precautionary measures mentioned in the safety data sheet must be strictly observed and work must be carried out carefully and cleanly. Always wear gloves and safety glasses. Mouthwashes with H2O2 can cause irritation, edema, an elongation of the filiform papillae of the tongue (black hairy tongue), taste disturbances, ulceration and dry mouth.

see also

Thinners, peroxides

  • European Pharmacopoeia PhEur
  • Instructions for use
  • Henry M.C., Wheeler J., Mofenson H.C., Caraccio T.R., Marsh M., Comer G.M., Singer A.J. Hydrogen peroxide 3% exposures. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol, 1996, 34 (3), 323-7 Pubmed
  • Naik S., Tredwin C.J., Scully C. Hydrogen peroxide tooth-whitening (bleaching): review of safety in relation to possible carcinogenesis. Oral Oncol, 2006, 42 (7), 668-74 Pubmed
  • swell
  • Reynolds J. (Ed.) Martindale. The Extra Pharmacopoeia. London: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1989
  • DMS recipe
  • Safety data sheets 3% / 30%
  • Tredwin C.J., Naik S., Lewis N.J., Scully C. Hydrogen peroxide tooth-whitening (bleaching) products: review of adverse effects and safety issues. Br Dent J, 2006, 200 (7), 371-6 Pubmed
  • Walsh L.J. Safety issues relating to the use of hydrogen peroxide in dentistry. Aust Dent J, 2000, 45 (4), 257-69 Pubmed
  • Wasserbauer S., Perez-Meza D., Chao R. Hydrogen peroxide and wound healing: a theoretical and practical review for hair transplant surgeons. Dermatol Surg, 2008, 34 (6), 745-50 Pubmed
  • Watt B.E., Proudfoot A.T., Vale J.A. Hydrogen peroxide poisoning. Toxicol Rev, 2004, 23 (1), 51-7 Pubmed

Conflicts of Interest: None / Independent. The author has no relationships with the manufacturers and is not involved in the sale of the products mentioned.

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This article was last changed on 11/24/2020.
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