General properties

General properties of Hydrogen Peroxide

Peroxide is well known but seemingly poorly understood compound. It is found throughout nature and is in small amounts in rain and snow. It is odorless, boils at 152 degrees, and decomposes at 84 degrees. Peroxide is soluble in water and when water plus peroxide is distilled the condensate will still contain some peroxide.

The enzyme catalase is responsible for the conversion of H2O2 into water and oxygen. Peroxide in vivo acts for up to about 12 seconds after it is injected before remaining peroxide is converted into water and oxygen. This differs sharply with a half-life of 0.75 to 2 seconds in vitro.

A very small amount of catalase can convert a huge amount of peroxide into water. Peroxide is well known as a bleach, an antiseptic, a disinfectant, and an oxidizing agent (adds oxygen to other substances). It has been said that that the peroxide in rain and snow keeps the surface of the earth from becoming the putrid overgrowth of undesirable germs.

A peroxide treatment causes oxygen to be dissolved in the serum and in the tissues similar to the amount caused by taking a hyperbaric oxygen treatment at three to twelve atmospheres breathing 100% oxygen by mask. Oxygen is provided to the tissues, directly by serum, independent of that being delivered by the red blood cells. This oxygenation effect is relatively short-lived. The release of oxygen from the peroxide into the body is not the primary benefit of peroxide therapy.