Sciencemadness Discussion Board
Not logged in [Login - Register]
Go To Bottom

Printable Version  
 Pages:  1  ..  45    47
Author: Subject: Latest chemical order?
woelen
Super Administrator
*********




Posts: 6766
Registered: 20-8-2005
Location: Netherlands
Member Is Offline

Mood: interested

[*] posted on 9-5-2019 at 03:34


I decided not to order this stuff. I can buy 1000 ml of the stuff, but after reading about its toxic properties I decided not to buy it. Too toxic for home chemistry purposes in my opinion. Quite different from e.g. chlorosulfonic acid and sulfuryl chloride. The latter are toxic, due to their high corrosiveness, but methyl sulfate seems to be an incredibly potent systemic poison, which can kill you while you do not notice anything. At least chlorosulfonic acid and sulfuryl chloride are "honest". They clearly tell you that they attack you :D



The art of wondering makes life worth living...
Want to wonder? Look at http://www.oelen.net/science
View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
DavidJR
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 636
Registered: 1-1-2018
Location: Scotland
Member Is Offline

Mood: Anxious

[*] posted on 9-5-2019 at 06:45


Quote: Originally posted by woelen  
I decided not to order this stuff. I can buy 1000 ml of the stuff, but after reading about its toxic properties I decided not to buy it. Too toxic for home chemistry purposes in my opinion. Quite different from e.g. chlorosulfonic acid and sulfuryl chloride. The latter are toxic, due to their high corrosiveness, but methyl sulfate seems to be an incredibly potent systemic poison, which can kill you while you do not notice anything. At least chlorosulfonic acid and sulfuryl chloride are "honest". They clearly tell you that they attack you :D


Yes, dimethyl sulfate is indeed nasty stuff. However I feel that I can handle it safely so long as I take extreme care:


  • I will wear thick gloves, a respirator, sealing goggles, lab coat, and apron.
  • I will use my powerful local exhaust ventilation (not a proper fume hood, because I haven't gotten round to building it yet, but at the moment I have a blower sized for my planned future fume hood and a flexible hose that I can clamp near apparatus as needed).
  • I will have on hand an ammonia solution (which can destroy dimethyl sulfate rapidly) to quench excess reagent, clean apparatus, and to deal with a possible spill. In fact, the vapours produced by having some ammonia in an open beaker would also help to neutralize any escaped dimethyl sulfate vapours.
  • I will use the material only in closed apparatus using similar techniques to air-free chemistry like cannula transfer (although I will slightly modify some procedures from the standard air-free techniques, given that my concern is not to avoid contact with air but instead to avoid release of this highly toxic material)


I did put a fair amount of thought into alternatives (and tried a few) but it seems like dimethyl sulfate is the only workable choice for what I want to do. Also, I was leaning towards not buying it until I saw that I could get it in a bottle with a septum, but with this I'm satisfied that I can use it safely.

[Edited on 9-5-2019 by DavidJR]
View user's profile View All Posts By User
woelen
Super Administrator
*********




Posts: 6766
Registered: 20-8-2005
Location: Netherlands
Member Is Offline

Mood: interested

[*] posted on 9-5-2019 at 23:32


Indeed, avoidance of release into the air and avoiding exposure is the key to safely using it. That is exactly where my problem is. If I work with solvents or other smelly chemicals, I always can smell some of it. For that reason I avoid strong systemic poisons. Smelly and corrosive stuff like ammonia, methylamine, sulphur dioxide, or even chlorine, chlorosulfonic acid and bromine I can work with. If I smell the stuff then I am not yet in danger, if the stuff begins to itch and causes irritation, then I know that the concentration is too high and I must quit. Working with these chemicals is like working very carefully with a very sharp knife. It must be handled with respect and sometimes it may even scratch your skin, without doing real damage, but when it scratches too much or to deeply you feel it and take countermeasures. I like chemicals to be "honest" ;)

With systemic volatile poisons like strong methylating agents, volatile arsenic compounds, or certain potent carcinogenic organics, I have no such warning systems. Exposure today may cause adverse health effects after long periods of time, when I already have forgotten my exposure to the reagent. That is what is most scary of this kind of things. For that reason I simply do not do experiments with them. I am not sufficiently confident that I can handle these things in a responsible and safe way in my home setting.

When something is not volatile and only is used in aqueous solution (e.g. lead salts, mercury salts), then I sometimes use them, albeit very sparingly, due to environmental concerns.

My next order is in the post now, 1000 ml of 40% methylamine in water. Yummy smell :P , and somewhat corrosive (like ammonia, albeit a little less pungent), but not really toxic. It forms many interesting and colorful transition metal complexes and it can also be used to form perchlorate salts with nearly perfect oxygen balance (ammonia-based complexes have too much oxygen, complexes, based on bigger organic molecules have too little oxygen). Nice stuff to experiment with. Very colorful and sometimes a little energetic.

[Edited on 10-5-19 by woelen]




The art of wondering makes life worth living...
Want to wonder? Look at http://www.oelen.net/science
View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
Herr Haber
National Hazard
****




Posts: 496
Registered: 29-1-2016
Member Is Offline

Mood: No Mood

[*] posted on 10-5-2019 at 03:43


Quote: Originally posted by woelen  

My next order is in the post now, 1000 ml of 40% methylamine in water. Yummy smell


Ewww... Only yummy if you have fond memories of those teen years when girls were discovering intimate hygiene !

I'm waiting for some Cobalt, Molybdenum, Nickel, Manganese, Chromium, Tungsten in several forms: beads, powder, crystals.

All from China so I guess I can start to think about testing while it's on the way.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
DavidJR
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 636
Registered: 1-1-2018
Location: Scotland
Member Is Offline

Mood: Anxious

[*] posted on 10-5-2019 at 05:20


Quote: Originally posted by woelen  

With systemic volatile poisons like strong methylating agents, volatile arsenic compounds, or certain potent carcinogenic organics, I have no such warning systems. Exposure today may cause adverse health effects after long periods of time, when I already have forgotten my exposure to the reagent. That is what is most scary of this kind of things. For that reason I simply do not do experiments with them. I am not sufficiently confident that I can handle these things in a responsible and safe way in my home setting.

Yeah, it is certainly a worry. However at least with dimethyl sulphate, it isn't a cumulative poison like heavy metals, so repeated exposure to sub-toxic levels won't produce toxic effects as such. Of course it's highly carcinogenic (I imagine because it methylates DNA?) and repeated low-level exposure will still proportionally increase cancer risk. Personally - I am much more concerned with dealing with the acute toxicity of dimethyl sulphate - in doing that I will also be reducing the risk of chronic effects (cancer) to what I consider to be acceptable levels, taking into consideration that this will be an occasional thing, not something I use every weekend.

That said, the acute toxicity of dimethyl sulphate is bad too.

I've read about a case of poisoning, involving the spill of 125ml of an unknown liquid which turned out to be dimethyl sulphate. Nine people suffered symptoms of exposure to the vapours, of varying severity. Most concerning is the effects of ocular exposure to the vapours. However, all patients recovered fully. Apparently there was no direct skin contact with the liquid.

(See http://sci-hub.tw/https://emj.bmj.com/content/22/12/878)

However, the people involved weren't using the PPE or engineering controls that I plan to use to control the hazard, and they remained in the vicinity of the spill for some time rather than evacuating. In my usage, pretty much the worst case scenario would be a spill of the entire 100ml (which, given the fact that it's in a septum bottle, is only likely to happen if the bottle itself is dropped/smashed). In this scenario, I would apply liberal amounts of ammonia solution and adsorbent, leave the area (with the ventilation running), carefully remove PPE/clothing and shower if necessary. Hopefully in this case the use of the PPE will be enough to avoid poisoning.


Quote: Originally posted by woelen  

When something is not volatile and only is used in aqueous solution (e.g. lead salts, mercury salts), then I sometimes use them, albeit very sparingly, due to environmental concerns.

Well, I guess one of the good things about things like dimethyl sulphate is that they can easily be converted to totally harmless materials for disposal. Mercury, on the other hand, will always be toxic and polluting to some degree, no matter what you do to it.
View user's profile View All Posts By User
RedDwarf
Harmless
*




Posts: 46
Registered: 16-2-2019
Member Is Offline


[*] posted on 10-5-2019 at 14:31


Quote: Originally posted by Sulaiman  
Although I've just got rid of my liquids prior to migrating,
I could not resist buying this

£6 OTC, cash, no questions asked.

The liquid is red rather than the usual brown,
it chars tissue paper but more slowly than 96% acid,
a quick density measurement indicates about 92% w/w.
I'll try to use it up in the next few weeks.

Was this in a chain or a corner store?
View user's profile View All Posts By User
mayko
International Hazard
*****




Posts: 913
Registered: 17-1-2013
Location: Carrboro, NC
Member Is Offline

Mood: anomalous

[*] posted on 22-5-2019 at 18:09


one of the profs down the hall is retiring, and offered up a bunch of equipment and chemicals for grabs. this .... has been the most incredible score to date. Highlights include:
* various amino acids
* various stains & dyes
* hundreds of grams of cesium chloride
* a few hundred grams of sodium fluoride
* ~1L chloroform
* ~ 500 mL nitric acid
* sodium azide :o
* Sodium cacodylate :o
* ~500 mL 70% perchloric acid :o

something I did NOT touch was the rusty, paint can sized tin labeled DIMETHYL SULFATE :o:o:o

also:
* an 'out of service' geiger counter
* an electrophoresis power supply




al-khemie is not a terrorist organization
"Chemicals, chemicals... I need chemicals!" - George Hayduke
"Wubbalubba dub-dub!" - Rick Sanchez
View user's profile Visit user's homepage View All Posts By User
 Pages:  1  ..  45    47

  Go To Top