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Panel: Erin Dickison
Media: Sarah Scruggs

The Organic Peroxide Producers Safety Division (OPPSD) aims to promote the safer handling of organic peroxides and serves as a resource for plastics companies, and the public, about the science behind them.

When making certain plastics, organic peroxides are used to initiate polymerization, a process in which one molecule links with other molecules, over and over again, to create plastic polymers. Organic peroxides are essential in the manufacture of plastics like polystyrene (PS), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and composite products like fiberglass. There are hundreds of different organic peroxides, and each has its own properties and uses that enable them to create different polymers with different qualities.

The same reactivity that makes organic peroxides so useful in facilitating the manufacture of plastic materials also makes them dangerous if handled without proper safety precautions. Following sound storage and handling practices can reduce the risk of fires or explosions associated with organic peroxides. Promoting these safety practices is part of the OPPSD mission.

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