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Safety & Emergency Information

Personal Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment should protect the wearer in case of accidents. However, it is not a substitute for safe working conditions. The amount of protection necessary depends upon the degree of exposure during a particular task. Protective equipment should not be worn or carried beyond the operating area. After each use, the equipment should be thoroughly washed and tested for DMS contamination before storing.

All personnel should wear full protective clothing and air-supplied respiratory protection when unloading DMS shipping containers, when taking DMS samples, when opening equipment that may contain DMS, and when performing other similarly hazardous duties during which DMS vapor may be inhaled. A standby person equipped with similar protective equipment should be present to assist in an emergency.

Minor incidental contact with DMS is difficult to detect on protective equipment but has caused serious burns following equipment removal. Upon completion of an activity requiring a full protective suit, the person should rinse the suit under a safety shower. The standby person should then assist washing the suit with a brush and mild detergent solution prior to rinsing under the safety shower again. The suit should then be checked with a Dräeger tube for presence of DMS before removing. Change gloves as necessary during protective equipment removal. Rewash suit, hood, and gloves. Don dry protective equipment if re-entry to the DMS area is necessary. Store all protective equipment in the DMS use area.

Equipment suggested for handling dimethyl sulfate is as follows:

  • Chemical Goggles -- Gas-tight goggles should be worn whenever there is even minimal danger of contact with DMS liquid or vapor. Face shields should also be worn when complete face protection is desirable.

  • Respiratory Protection -- Whenever atmospheric contamination by DMS vapor is possible, personnel should wear a self-contained breathing apparatus or air line mask.

  • Safety Hats -- A safety hat or a hat of nonabsorbent material should be worn to protect against the danger of overhead leaks.

  • Shoes -- Rubber shoes with safety caps or rubber boots (over safety shoes) should be used. Other materials such as leather will absorb DMS and should not be used.

  • Protective Suits -- Suits and hoods made of butyl rubber should be worn for hazardous duties. Coverall suits, hoods, and boots should always be available in the area for use in emergencies.

  • Gloves -- Gloves made of butyl or neoprene rubber should be worn whenever contact with DMS is possible. Plastic or rubber-coated fabric gloves should not be used when working with DMS, because the inside of the gloves might become contaminated; this contamination is difficult to remove and offers a possible hazard to the next user. Leather gloves should not be used because they absorb DMS and offer no protection. Gloves should be washed with soap and running water before removal.