Toxicity of iron and hydrogen peroxide: the Fenton reaction

Toxicol Lett. 1995 Dec;82-83:969-74. doi: 10.1016/0378-4274(95)03532-x.


Iron and hydrogen peroxide are capable of oxidizing a wide range of substrates and causing biological damage. The reaction, referred to as the Fenton reaction, is complex and capable of generating both hydroxyl radicals and higher oxidation states of the iron. The mechanism and how it is affected by different chelators, and the interpretation of results obtained in biological systems, are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / toxicity*
  • Hydroxyl Radical
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Iron / toxicity*
  • Oxidation-Reduction


  • Hydroxyl Radical
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Iron