View Full Version : Acetonitrile and DMSO

The Mad Monk
22-02-2006, 13:31:34
How would you expect a responsible lab to handle these materials?

More later.

22-02-2006, 13:37:21
see if i care.

22-02-2006, 13:37:35
very carefully


store them in the lunch room, near the smoking lounge

The Mad Monk
22-02-2006, 23:07:57
How about bare handed, heating a 60/40 solution to near boiling and pouring it through a filter, and leaving it to evaporate on the bench, as opposed to in a hood?

The Mad Monk
22-02-2006, 23:08:39
And yes, that is SOP here.

Dyl Ulenspiegel
23-02-2006, 00:04:55
sounds like BOOM

23-02-2006, 01:39:00
Acetonitrile: http://www.purificationtech.com/aceto_msds.htm

methyl sulfoxide (nee DMSO): http://www.specialtymedia.com/05Resources/MSDS/MSDS%20for%20DMSO.htm

Believe it or not part of my job is to look up MSDS's on various chemicals found at various environmental sites and then write reports about the toxicology and effects these chemicals will have on various reciptors. Kind of the boring part of my job but better then the average 9-5 I guess.

The Mad Monk
23-02-2006, 05:13:30
Yeah, I've read that, and I handle the mix like it's kryptonite.

The other techs are looking at me funny when I insist on doing everything in the hood, and I'm wondering if it's me overreacting, or them being ignorant.

The Mad Monk
23-02-2006, 05:27:23
I've read several different MSDS on DMSO, and they all skip one very pertinent fact, which I learned about during my year at Merck.

DMSO has the ability to pass very quickly through the skin and into the bloodstream, producing a garlic taste in the mouth. This in itself isn't of much note, since the stuff is mostly harmless, but it also has the abilty to carry solutes along for the ride. That is, if you dissolve morphine sulfate (for example) in it and apply it to your skin, the morphine goes straight into your blood, no needle required.


And these people have it mixed with something that metabolizes into cyanide. :nervous:

23-02-2006, 05:39:44
Cool, no more track marks!

23-02-2006, 13:06:50
I used to use it in solutions with mutagens to get them through cell membranes. Gloves, coat, glasses, sterile hood. Still creeped me out.

A good dousing with DMSO is supposed to knock you out, iirc.

GLPs, GLPs, GLPs! Is it food/drug industry? Just tell me where you work and I'll see if I can schedule a for-cause inspection. They'll thank you for it! :D (don't do that, bad idea)

23-02-2006, 16:31:00
Christ, get out of that lab ASAP. Thats ridiculous.

Thats fume hoods, gloves the works. Off the top of my head I think nitrile gloves block DMSO better than latex (assuming your still wearing latex).

23-02-2006, 17:24:43
Who isn't?

The Mad Monk
24-02-2006, 00:22:10
It is the food industry.

I'm trying to get nitriles ordered, I prefer them over latex for everything anyway.

Now that I know I'm not overreacting, I'm going to try and get some changes made. This is only the tip of the iceberg. They have stuff ranging from poorly marked containers through inadequate ventilation in the HPLC room.

I used to work in an ISO level lab, with really tight complience with OSHA, the EPA, the FDA, and the DOT.

This lab is nowhere near any of that.

I've heard they're going to try for ISO cert in a year.

They're not ready for ISO.

They're not ready for prime-time.

Still, the check's good, and they really need me, so I'll give it another month, and see what happens.

24-02-2006, 03:46:07
They should at least confrom to OSHA

safety first and all

if not they should reported to OSAH, especially in teh US

playing with chemicals is bad

24-02-2006, 05:53:39
Wow. I have no clue what all the chemistry geeks here are talking about :D

24-02-2006, 05:55:40
Flashpoint: 5.60C (42 F)



Provost Harrison
24-02-2006, 11:03:30
I work in the pharmaceutical industry in the lab and it would never happen like that. We use DMSO and to get it up to boiling point takes quite some heating as it has a boiling point approaching 200C...it is quite amusing because it can freeze not much below standard room temperature. But I always use nitrile gloves when handling the stuff, I hate the damn stuff, but it isn't hard to handle safely (the only thing we use it for is a diluent in HSGC).

And acetonitrile, yeah, that's fine too as long as you don't do evaporating it into the lab under heat :D It's pretty common in a lot of the mobile phases we use. My product uses methanol which is a little more worrying, but even so, if handled correctly, none of the common solvents should pose much of a problem...

Provost Harrison
24-02-2006, 11:06:01
As solvents go, chloroform is my major pet hate...

24-02-2006, 11:09:25
To many nights woken up with a burnt throat and a sore arse eh?

Provost Harrison
24-02-2006, 11:13:32
Not at all predictable :p

24-02-2006, 11:20:17

24-02-2006, 12:05:34
:lol: well predict it next time ;)

24-02-2006, 13:00:58
yeah, lube up before you go to sleep!

24-02-2006, 13:01:13

24-02-2006, 13:04:18

24-02-2006, 14:23:26

Silly scientists

The Mad Monk
24-02-2006, 15:19:09
Well, it appears that I am no longer working there.


Frankly, I have never been so relieved at being 'let go' from a place. :)

24-02-2006, 15:22:38
you were risking it all man

24-02-2006, 15:28:53
Originally posted by The Mad Monk
Well, it appears that I am no longer working there.


Frankly, I have never been so relieved at being 'let go' from a place. :) Is that the place you moved to the other side of the continent for??

The Mad Monk
24-02-2006, 16:03:19
It was the middle of the continent, and no.

Anyways, my contact at the agency is already setting up another interview for me, this time at a margarine company.

24-02-2006, 16:24:40
Are you Kansas City?

Dyl Ulenspiegel
24-02-2006, 16:47:38
Hey mr margarine man....

The Mad Monk
24-02-2006, 19:40:19
I live near KC, just outside the 435 circle.

24-02-2006, 20:38:44
thought so... was trying to figure if I was confussing you with some other fly over

24-02-2006, 22:23:52
Well, I'm glad you are out of them, Mad Monk. Better luck with your next position!

25-02-2006, 05:11:34
It sounds like they were using some nasty stuff in a very unsafe manner. Moving on to a different employer isn't a bad thing.

27-02-2006, 11:20:39
how I had read it:
Originally posted by Darkstar
Well, I'm glad you are out of them, Mad Monk. Better luck with your next poison!


27-02-2006, 12:49:35
wow, that sucks about the job though :(

27-02-2006, 13:56:39
sounds like a good deal to me