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].
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
Acute: extremely toxic vapors and liquid -- a few whiffs or contact on skin could be fatal. Also acutely toxic if ingested. Delayed effects which are ultimately fatal may also occur. Lethal concentrations as low as 97 ppm/10 min have been reported in humans. DNA inhibition and damage to human somatic cells, and sister chromatid exchange in human fibroblast cells were observed. Delayed appearance of symptoms may permit unnoticed exposure to lethal quantities.
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.
ChEBI: The dimethyl ester of sulfuric acid.
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.
Air & Water Reactions
Methylating agent in the manufacture of many organic chemicals. War gas.
Material is normally stable even under fire exposure conditions and is not hazardously reactive with water. Dimethyl sulfate is incompatible with strong oxidizers and strong ammonia solutions.