A group of compounds that contain a bivalent O-O group, i.e., the oxygen atoms are univalent. They can either be inorganic or organic in nature. 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. (From Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, 11th ed)