The Role of Chemistry in History

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Hydrogen Peroxide and History

April 18th, 2008 · 1 Comment ·

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Hydrogen Peroxide and HistoryHydrogen Peroxide and the Future

Hydrogen peroxide is familiar to most people as an over-the-counter preparation that is easily available at supermarkets as well as pharmacies, and is used as an antiseptic for cleansing minor cuts and scrapes. It was first used as an intravenous infusion in 1920 by a British physician in India, T. H. Oliver, to treat a group of 25 Indian patients who were critically ill with pneumonia. Oliver’s patients had a mortality rate of 48%, compared to the standard mortality rate of 80% for the disease. However, During the Second World War some extermination camps experimentally killed people with hydrogen peroxide injections.

In the 1920s, an American physician named William Koch experimented with hydrogen peroxide as a treatment for cancer. He left the United States after a legal battle with the FDA. In the early 1960s, researchers at Baylor University studied the effects of hydrogen peroxide in removing plaque from the arteries as well as its usefulness in treating cancer

                                                        kursk                                                                                                                           On August 12th 2000,  the Kursk (a nuclear attack submarine) was taking part in a naval exercise off the Kola peninsula, when there was an explosion on board, equivalent to about 100 kg of TNT. It seemed to have been caused by a leak of hydrogen peroxide fuel from a torpedo. This caused a fire, which detonated several other torpedoes, leading to a much bigger explosion 135 seconds later, reportedly with a force of around 7 tons of TNT (recorded by seismic stations 5000 km away, measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale). The submarine sank in 108 meters of water. The entire crew of 118 men were lost.

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