A group of compounds that contain a bivalent o-o group, i.e., the oxygen atoms are univalent. Such compounds release atomic (nascent) oxygen readily. Thus they are strong oxidizing agents and fire hazards when in contact with combustible materials, especially under high-temperature conditions. The chief industrial uses of peroxides are as oxidizing agents, bleaching agents, and initiators of polymerization.

(12 Dec 1998)