H2O2 source in Boulder/Denver?
December 6, 2011 10:22 AM   Subscribe

Looking for a source for 35% Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide in the Boulder Denver area.

I've checked with Whole foods, Wild Oats, Pharmaca, Safeway, Rebecca's. Any other suggestions? Online sources appear to be unreliable as my understanding is shipping 35% H2O2 is restricted.
posted by cosmac to Health & Fitness (5 answers total)
Standard warning: 35% H2O2 is dangerous stuff. Direct consumption can cause internal bleeding. It will burn your skin. Inhaled it can cause issues with your lungs including burning and pulmonary edema. Please be careful. Due to the various chemical reactions, this concentration left open to evaporate can spontaneously combust given enough volume and time.

Because of the dangers, USPS won't ship above a 20% concentration. UPS and FedEx might, but because it is classified as hazardous material you will pay through the nose. The reputable sources will only sell to commercial addresses due to said dangers. Most of the stuff available on places like Amazon are diluted to 17.5% or 8.25% (give or take their accuracy).

This SEO crapsite actually had a listing of Denver-area stores that will sell 35% H2O2, might be worth calling them.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 10:48 AM on December 6, 2011

Amazon has it, and sigma-aldrich or any other chemical supplier at a university should be able to get it. Quackwatch article on why using it as a cancer therapy is bullshit. Shopping for this stuff is also a good way to get on a FBI watchlist.
posted by benzenedream at 10:49 AM on December 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

So, uh, don't blow yourself up. Because that's what this stuff is for. I've got a relative who sells H2O2 by the traincar, and while it's pretty amazing, it's also basically a great way of hitting you with a load of elemental oxygen. Molecular oxygen is pretty nasty as it is, but elemental oxygen is the second-most reactive substance out there. Only fluorine is more reactive, if that tells you anything. About 50% of the world's annual output of H2O2 is used as an industrial bleach, and in high enough concentrations it's used as rocket fuel.

Here's an outfit that will ship it to you, but it's not cheap to begin with, and there's a $25.00 hazmat fee on top of shipping costs, which aren't small either.
posted by valkyryn at 11:22 AM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Please note that H2O2 has absolutely no demonstrated medical value in direct application whatsoever. It is also dangerous shit, you know those free radicals that you can buy overpriced pills or branded blueberries at whole foods to address with antioxidants? Hydrogen peroxide is the simplest and one of the strongest varieties of free radical, biological systems like you are not built to handle that kind of chemistry, which is what makes it such a great disinfectant.

Essentially what happens is the H2O2 molecule exists in a state of equilibrium with its free radical form where it cuts in half from [H-O-O-H] into [H-O.] and [.O-H]. What you end up with is a powerful and small electron donor ready to fuck up your carefully built biological molecules in the same way that the same concentration of lye would, but there is an additional problem. Our bodies are only built to handle the kinds of reactions where electrons are swapped around in pairs, there is a whole bunch of really cool organic chemistry that needs peroxides in the solvent but we can't do it. The reason why is that since all of the molecules in our bodies have a even number of electrons, when they get just one added they get fucked up and then pass the one electron to another biological molecule, which then also gets fucked up in the same way. What you end up with is a cascade of damage that generally can't be repaired and must be replaced. This isn't so bad except that all of the damaged proteins and lipids become toxic until they are found and addressed and that you can't always replace the accurately information encoded by DNA that gets fucked up, leading to secondary poisoning and cancer. What an anti-oxidants actually is, is any compound capable of quenching this cascade by accepting the one electron and not passing it along. Incidentally, eating anti-oxidant rich foods has yet to be shown to actually meaningfully increase the anti-oxidant value of blood or any tissue, so blueberries with "Oxygen therapy" won't help you worth shit.

H2O2 is fundamentally toxic to all known forms of life and especially you, applying it to wounds has been shown to cause enough damage that it both slows healing and encourages infection. It has never been demonstrated to have special effect on cancerous or AIDS pregnant cells, and there is no reason to think it would. I'm a microbiologist, and I can tell you that using hydrogen peroxide to address any microbial issue in you is a really dumb idea, the bug will handle it better than you can.

Please don't apply this to your self or ingest it, people die from this kind of quakery.
posted by Blasdelb at 1:30 PM on December 6, 2011 [3 favorites]

No, I am not making rocket fuel or trying to cure cancer. Thanks Mister Fabulous.
posted by cosmac at 4:47 PM on December 6, 2011

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