Air & Water Reactions
Highly flammable. Ignites in air and burns with a blue flame giving off a peculiar garlicky odor. Explodes in oxygen or ozone. Reacts violently with water to generate methane [Merck, 11th ed., 1989; Brauer(1965)]. Very slow oxidation with traces of air to give methylzinc methylate.
Inhalation of mist or vapor causes immediate irritation of upper respiratory tract. Excessive or prolonged inhalation of fumes from ignition or decomposition may cause ``metal fume fever'' (sore throat, headache, fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, muscular aches, perspiration, constricting sensation in lungs, weakness, sometimes prostration). Symptoms usually last 12-24 hrs. Eyes are immediately and severely irritated by liquid, vapor, or dilute solutions. If not removed by thorough flushing with water, chemical may permanently damage cornea. Skin will undergo thermal and acid burns when chemical reacts with moisture in skin. Unless washed quickly, skin may be scarred. Treat dilute solutions with same precautions as concentrated liquid. Ingestion, while unlikely, would cause immediate burns at site of contact. Nausea, vomiting, cramps, and diarrhea may follow. Tissues may ulcerate if not treated.
Clear colorless liquid
Activator for radical trifluoromethylation of silyl enol ethers leading to α-trifluoromethyl ketones.1
DIMETHYLZINC is very reactive, acts as a strong reducing agent. Combines with acids, with alcohols (methanol, ethanol), and 2-2-dichloropropane as well as with water with explosive violence. When heated to decomposition emits toxic fumes of zinc oxide [Bretherick, 5th ed., 1995, p. 354]. Oxidants may yield peroxide formation, which is explosive.
Mobile liquid, with peculiar garlic odor.