Dimethyl sulfate is essentially odorless. The specific gravity of this colorless, corrosive, oily liquid is 1.3322 g/cm3. Dimethyl sulfate is soluble in ether, dioxane, acetone, benzene, and other aromatic hydrocarbons. It is sparingly soluble in carbon disulfide and aliphatic hydrocarbons, and only slightly soluble in water (28 g/l at 18 °C) (O'Neil, 2006).
Dimethyl sulfate is a colorless oily liquid, odorless to a faint onion-like odor. Dimethyl sulfate is very toxic by inhalation. Dimethyl sulfate is a combustible liquid and has a flash point of 182°F. Dimethyl sulfate is slightly soluble in water and decomposed by water to give sulfuric acid with evolution of heat. Dimethyl sulfate is corrosive to metals and tissue.
Diethyl sulfate is used as an ethylating agentin many organic syntheses. It is also usedas an accelerator in the sulfation of ethyleneand as an intermediate in certain sulfonationreactions (Merck 1996).
Dimethyl sulphate has been used since the beginning of the century as a methylating agent in the preparation of organic chemical products and colouring agents, in the perfume industry, and in other processes. It is a colourless or yellowish liquid of oily consistency which vaporizes at 50℃. and has a slight piquant smell. Both the liquid and the vapour are vesicants and by virtue of this property may be used in warfare.
Excess dimethyl sulfate and waste material containing this substance should be placed in a covered metal container, clearly labeled, and handled according to your institution's waste disposal guidelines.
Dimethyl sulfate is extremely hazardous because of its lack of warning properties and
delayed toxic effects. The vapor of this compound is extremely irritating to the skin, eyes,
and respiratory tract, and contact with the liquid can cause very severe burns to the eyes
and skin. Ingestion of dimethyl sulfate causes burns to the mouth, throat, and
gastrointestinal tract. The effects of overexposure to dimethyl sulfate vapor may be
delayed. After a latent period of 10 hours or more, headache and severe pain to the eyes
upon exposure to light may occur, followed by cough, tightness of the chest, shortness of
breath, difficulty in swallowing and speaking, vomiting, diarrhea, and painful urination.
Fatal pulmonary edema may develop. Systemic effects of dimethyl sulfate include
damage to the liver and kidneys.
Dimethyl sulfate is listed by IARC in Group 2A ("probable human carcinogen") and is
classified as a "select carcinogen" under the criteria of the OSHA Laboratory Standard.
Data indicate that dimethyl sulfate does not specifically harm unborn animals; dimethyl
sulfate is not a developmental toxin. It is a strong alkylating agent and does produce
genetic damage in animals and in bacterial and mammalian cell cultures.
Dimethyl sulfate can react violently with ammonium hydroxide, sodium azide, and strong oxidizers.
Chemical/Physical. Hydrolyzes in water (half-life = 1.2 h) to methanol and sulfuric acid
(Robertson and Sugamori, 1966) via the intermediate methyl sulfuric acid (Du Pont, 1999a)
Dimethyl Sulfate is a diester of methanol and sulfuric acid. Dimethyl Sulfate is commonly used as a reagent for the methylation of phenols, amines, and thiols. Dimethyl Sulfate is an effective and widely used probe for sequence-specific protein-DNA interactions
Flammability and Explosibility
Dimethyl sulfate is a combustible liquid (NFPA rating = 2). Toxic dimethyl sulfate vapors are produced in a fire. Carbon dioxide or dry chemical extinguishers should be used to fight dimethyl sulfate fires.
Dimethyl sulfate is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogenbased on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity from studies in experimental animals.
work with dimethyl sulfate should be conducted in a fume hood to prevent exposure by inhalation, and appropriate impermeable gloves and safety goggles should be worn at all times to prevent skin and eye contact.
with experimental carcinogenic,
tumorigenic, and teratogenic data. Human
poison by inhalation. Experimental poison
by ingestion, inhalation, intravenous, and
subcutaneous routes. Other experimental
reproductive effects. Human mutation datareported. A corrosive irritant to skin, eyes,
and mucous membranes. There is no odor
or initial irritation to give warning of
exposure. On brief, dd exposures,
conjunctivitis, catarrhal inflammation of the
mucous membranes of the nose, throat,
larynx, and trachea, and possibly some
reddening of the skin develop after the
latent period. With longer, heavier
exposures, the cornea shows clouding, the
irritation changes to the nasopharynx are
more marked, and after 6 to 8 hours
pulmonary edema may develop. Death may
occur in 3 or 4 days. The liver and kidneys
are frequently damaged. Spang of the liquid
on the skin can cause ulceration and localnecrosis. In patients surviving severe
exposure, there may be serious injury of the
liver and hdneys, with suppression of urine,
jaunlce, albuminuria, and hematuria
appearing. Death, resulting from the hdney
or liver damage, may be delayed for several
weeks. Flammable when exposed to heat,
flame, or oxidizers. Can react with oxidizing
materials. Violent reaction with NH4OH
and NaN3. To fight fire, use water, foam,
CO2, dry chemical. When heated to
decomposition it emits toxic fumes of SOx
See also SULFATES.
Dimethyl sulfate (chemical formula: (CH3O)2SO2) is an odorless, corrosive, oily liquid which can release toxic fumes during heating. It can be synthesized through the esterification of sulfuric acid with methanol, and alternatively by the distillation of methyl hydrogen sulfate.
In industry, dimethyl sulfate is used as a methylating agent for the manufacture of many organic chemicals. It can be used for methylation of phenols, amines, and thiol. Moreover, it can be used for base sequencing and DNA chain cleavage since it can rupture the imidazole rings present in guanine. It can also be used for protein-DNA interaction analysis. However, its vapor is toxic to eyes and lungs, can do harm to our body. It is a potential carcinogen based on known experimental data.
It is used as a methylating agent in themanufacture of many organic compounds,such as, phenols and thiols. Also, it is used inthe manufacture of dyes and perfumes, andas an intermediate for quaternary ammoniumsalts. It was used in the past as a militarypoison.
Reactivity with Water Slow, non-hazardous reaction; Reactivity with Common Materials: Corrodes metal when wet; Stability During Transport: Stable; Neutralizing Agents for Acids and Caustics: Sodium bicarbonate or lime; Polymerization: Not pertinent; Inhibitor of Polymerization: Not pertinent.
Dimethyl sulfate is prepared by distillation of an oleum/methanol mixture; technical production using dimethyl ether and SO3 has also been reported (NLM, 2013).
Pure Dimethyl sulfate and concentrated aqueous ammonia react extremely violently with one another, as is the case for tertiary organic bases, [NFPA 491M, 1991]. Dimethyl sulfate ignites in contact with unheated barium chlorite, due to the rapid formation of unstable methyl chlorite. The product of methylating an unnamed material at 110°C was alloyed to remain in a reactor for 80 min. before the reactor exploded. This involved a sulfur ester such as Dimethyl sulfate, [MCA Case History No. 1786].
ChEBI: The dimethyl ester of sulfuric acid.
Air & Water Reactions
Dimethyl sulfate is a colorless, oily liquid that is slightly soluble in water. It has a faint, onion-like odor; the odor threshold has not been established. The vapor pressure for dimethyl sulfate is 0.5 mm Hg at 20 °C, and it has a log octanol/water partition coefficient (log Kow ) of 0.032.