In all operations involving DMS, all operating and maintenance personnel must be familiar with the potential hazards and safeguards needed to minimize the risk of injury or fume release. Personnel should be carefully trained and familiar with the latest DuPont DMS MSDS .
Dimethyl sulfate is extremely hazardous in both the liquid and vapor form because of its lack of warning properties, e.g., absence of odor, water-like appearance, and delayed biological effects. Effects may be delayed for 4 to more than 10 hours. DMS has an analgesic (numbing) effect on many body tissues; even severe exposures may not be immediately painful. Both forms are corrosive and cause burns and ulcerations of the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. On inhalation exposure, nose and throat irritation may occur with coughing, burning in the throat, and a choking sensation. DMS may be absorbed through the skin in sufficient amounts to cause systemic effects. Gross overexposure may cause death.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) have listed DMS as a substance suspected or known to be carcinogenic. DuPont controls DMS as a potential carcinogen.
If exposed persons are not immediately and promptly treated, permanent eye or lung injury, or even death, may occur. Workers should be required to report promptly any exposure they encounter, in order to receive immediate first aid treatment, followed by medical attention as soon as possible. The effects of various types of exposure are summarized in the links in the right navigation menu.