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Two observations of poisoning by dimethyl sulfate

Two observations of poisoning by dimethyl sulfate

Arch Mal Prof Med Trav 21(12): 744-746

Two workers were poisoned by the escape of dimethyl sulfate from a broken flask. The first man exhibited symptoms in 5 hours and died in the hospital 12 hours after the accident. A postmortem examination indicated pulmonary edema and congestion, and the presence of methanol and excess sulfate in blood and viscera. These were attributed to the hydrolysis of the dimethyl sulfate. In the second man, the symptoms appeared immediately after the accident but disappeared when he went out into the fresh air. They returned again, however, then he returned to his job. The symptoms of this man were lesions of the eyes, analgesia, and pulmonary edema. Emergency treatment consists of evacuation of the contaminated room, reviewing the clothes soiled with the dimethyl sulfate, bathing, and bed rest. The eyes should be irrigated. Treatment of arterial hypertension may be required. In the case that an Engstrom apparatus is used to aid respiration, a negative pressure should be used. The attention of the public authorities should be called to the necessity of a more rigorous control of the handling of dimethyl sulfate and to the obligation of having life-saving equipment in every room and laboratory which uses the chemical.

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Accession: 026027070

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