In the "reducing agent" article in Wikipedia it says

Good reducing agents are reagents that deliver $\ce{H2}$.

Wouldn't that make water unsafe to dissolve oxidizing agents?


closed as unclear what you're asking by Melanie Shebel, andselisk, Mithoron, Todd Minehardt, Jan Aug 30 '17 at 1:11

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    $\begingroup$ I don't quite see how the statement about reducing agents is related to the safety of dissolving oxidising agents in water. Perhaps you could clarify this. $\endgroup$ – bon Jun 15 '15 at 16:40
  • $\begingroup$ @bon I think OP means that water may deliver $\ce{H2}$ and is as such unsafe to dissolve oxidizers in. $\endgroup$ – tschoppi Jun 15 '15 at 16:50
  • $\begingroup$ Water doesn't deliver $\ce{H_2}$ though... $\endgroup$ – Ali Caglayan Jun 15 '15 at 17:22

If the oxidizing agent is sufficiently strong, e.g. fluorine, yes. "[W]ater spontaneously combust[s] under a fluorine jet."

However, there are only a few oxidizers, such as fluorine, fluorine trichloride and dioxygen difluoride that can displace oxygen from water. More likely you'd encounter a strong reducing agent, such as Group I metals, that would attach to the oxygen in water, liberating hydrogen.

  • $\begingroup$ A 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide bleaches hair pretty well, and it is a neutral solution. In the lab, you can get a 35% $\ce {H_2O_2}$ solution. $\endgroup$ – LDC3 Jul 27 '15 at 1:47

The safety arises from the solution's characteristics. Some oxidizers produce highly alkali solutions which pose personnel risks from chemical burns. This nature occurs to a lesser extent when dry chemical contacts the skin or mucus membranes ext. as the agent acquires water from the body and in essence forms saturated solutions at the contact sites.

  • $\begingroup$ It doesn't really answer this. $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Jul 27 '15 at 14:05

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