There are hundreds of different oxidizing agents, including various chromates, dichromates, halogens, bromates and nitrites. There are two different classes of oxidizing agents, organic and inorganic, both of which are considered hazardous materials.
The organic oxidizing agents, known as organic peroxides, are far more hazardous than the inorganic oxidizers and are generally extremely unstable and quite volatile. The strongest common oxidizing agent is elemental fluorine, while other strong oxidizers include oxygen gas (O2) and ozone (O3).
An oxidizing agent is any liquid or solid that readily gives off oxygen or another oxidizing substance, such as bromine, fluorine or chlorine. This list includes various chemical compounds that oxidize burnable materials, meaning that the oxygen chemically combines with the other materials in a way that creates a much higher chance of fire or explosion. These reactions can occur spontaneously at room temperature or after the compound has been slightly heated, although this depends on the specific oxidizing agent. Due to their volatile nature, most oxidizing agents are considered to have a high risk of fire or explosion.
Oxidizing agents can perform several different functions, such as increasing the speed of fire development and making a fire burn hotter. These compounds may also cause substances that are normally not flammable to burn easily or cause combustible materials to spontaneously ignite without the presence of an ignition source.