Agent Name

Dimethyl sulfate

CAS Number

77-78-1

Formula

C2-H6-O4-S

Major Category

Toxic Gases & Vapors

Synonyms

DMS (methyl sulfate); Dimethyl monosulfate; Dimethyl sulfate; Dimethyl sulphate; Dimethylester kyseliny sirove [Czech]; Dimethylsulfaat [Dutch]; Dimethylsulfat [Czech]; Dimetilsolfato [Italian]; Dwumetylowy siarczan [Polish]; Methyl sulfate; Methyl sulfate (VAN); Methyle (sulfate de) [French]; Sulfate de dimethyle [French]; Sulfate dimethylique [French]; Sulfato de dimetilo [Spanish]; [ChemIDplus] UN1595

Category

Other Toxic Gases & Vapors

Description

Colorless, oily liquid with a faint, onion-like odor; [NIOSH]

Sources/Uses

Used as a methylating agent in the synthesis of many organic compounds; [ACGIH]

Comments

Dimethyl sulfate causes blistering and ulceration of the skin. In cases of industrial poisoning, workers experienced burning eyes first and then respiratory symptoms, including irritation of the nose and throat, chest pain, cough, and dyspnea. Persistent abnormalities in liver function following exposure have been reported. Death is due to circulatory failure. In the presence of water vapor, dimethyl sulfate readily hydrolyzes into methanol and sulfuric acid. [ACGIH] Causes second or third degree burns after short skin exposure; [CHRIS] In a textile plant using dimethyl sulfate to produce surfactants, air levels were low but workers in one building had high blood levels secondary to skin absorption. [Schettgen T, Broding HC, Angerer J, Drexler H. Dimethyl sulphate; a hidden problem in occupational medicine. Occup Environ Med 2004;61:73-75] Dimethyl sulfate causes no known injury to the liver in experimental animals or humans. [Zimmerman, p. 368] A corrosive substance that can cause pulmonary edema; Can cause effects on the liver, kidneys, and CNS; [ICSC]

Exposure Assessment
Skin Designation (ACGIH)

Yes

TIH

Yes

TLV (ACGIH)

0.1 ppm

PEL (OSHA)

1 ppm

IDLH (NIOSH)

7 ppm

Excerpts from Documentation for IDLHs

The chosen IDLH is based on the statement by Patty [1963] that a 20minute exposure to 13 ppm caused severe symptoms in monkeys and a 20minute exposure to 75 ppm resulted in the LC50 for guinea pigs [Ghiringhelli et al. 1957; Ghiringhelli and Sironi 1958].

Vapor Pressure

0.67 mm Hg

Lethal Concentration

LC50 (rat) = 45 mg/m3/4 hr

Explanatory Notes

Flash point = 182 deg F;

Reference Link

ICSC: Dimethyl sulfate

Flammability (NFPA)

2: High ambient temperature required

Adverse Effects
Toxic Pneumonitis

Yes

Hepatotoxin

Hepatotoxin, Secondary

Dermatotoxin

Skin Burns

IARC Carcinogen

Probable Carcinogen

NTP Carcinogen

Anticipated Human Carcinogen

ACGIH Carcinogen

Confirmed Animal

Links to Other NLM Databases
Health Studies

Human Health Effects from Hazardous Substances Data Bank:

Toxicity Information

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Chemical Information

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Biomedical References

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Related Information in HazMap
Diseases

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent: