Combustible material: may burn but does not ignite readily. When heated, vapors may form explosive mixtures with air: indoors, outdoors and sewers explosion hazards. Contact with metals may evolve flammable hydrogen gas. Containers may explode when heated. Runoff may pollute waterways. Substance may be transported in a molten form.
Clear colorless liquid
Purify it by distilling in a vacuum. Distilling at atmospheric pressure causes some oxidation and should be done in an inert atmosphere. [Woodward J Chem Soc 1892 1948.] It has a foul odour, is irritating t o the eyes, nose and skin — should be handled in an efficient fume cupboard. It is miscible with H2O, EtOH, Et2O and *C6H6 and the UV has max at 235nm. The 2,4-dinitrophenyl thioether has m 101-102o (from EtOH or aqueous MeOH) [Grogen et al. J Org Chem 20 50 1955]. [Beilstein 1 IV 2428.]
A water-white liquid. May be toxic by ingestion, inhalation, or skin absorption.
Air & Water Reactions
No rapid reaction with air. No rapid reaction with water.
Toxic by inhalation and ingestion.
TOXIC; inhalation, ingestion or skin contact with material may cause severe injury or death. Contact with molten substance may cause severe burns to skin and eyes. Avoid any skin contact. Effects of contact or inhalation may be delayed. Fire may produce irritating, corrosive and/or toxic gases. Runoff from fire control or dilution water may be corrosive and/or toxic and cause pollution.
Organosulfides, such as 2-Mercaptoethanol, are incompatible with acids, diazo and azo compounds, halocarbons, isocyanates, aldehydes, alkali metals, nitrides, hydrides, and other strong reducing agents. Reactions with these materials generate heat and in many cases hydrogen gas. Many of these compounds may liberate hydrogen sulfide upon decomposition or reaction with an acid.
Poison by ingestion,
skin contact, and intraperitoneal routes.
Moderately toxic by intravenous route. A
skin and severe eye irritant. Human
mutation data reported. A combustible
liquid when exposed to heat, flame, or
oxidizers. To fight fire, use alcohol foam,
CO2, dry chemical. When heated to
decomposition it emits highly toxic fumes of
SOx. See also MERCAPTANS.
2-Mercaptoethanol is used in the synthesis of nano-graphene for cellular imaging and drug delivery. Also used in the synthesis of multifunctional polymeric micelle used in specific targeting of tumor disruption.