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Health Concerns: While dimethyl sulf de has an unpleasant odor, it has a low toxicity level. It is f ammable in liquid form; therefore, care and the proper protective equipment should be worn when handling dimethyl sulf de liquid. Due to its f am- mability, dimethyl sulf de can cause temporary incapaci- tation or residual injury upon exposure. What is the Coast Guard doing about it? The Coast Guard enforces maritime transportation requirements for f ammable liquids such as dimethyl sul- f de. Regulations found in 49 CFR Subchapter C are in place to minimize the risk associated with transporting packaged f ammable material. The United States Coast Guard also operates the National Response Center, the sole federal point of contact for reporting chemical spills. In case of a dimethyl sulf de spill, contact the center at (800) 424-8802. About the author: 2/c Nickolette Morin is a cadet at the United States Coast Guard Academy studying marine and environmental science. She is interested in a career in response and will graduate in May 2015. References: Airgas. Material Safety Data Sheet: Dimethyl Sulf de. Bates, T. et al. NOAA. Oceanic Dimethylsulf de and Climate. Bo, I.D., J. Heyman, J. Vincke, and H. Van Langenhove. Dimethyl Sulf de Removal from Synthetic Waste Gas Using a Flat Poly(dimethylsiloxane)-Coated Composite Membrane Bioreactor. Environ. Sci. Technol; 2003, Vol. 37, p.p. 4228-4234. Smet, E., and H. Van Lagenhove. Abatement of volatile organic sulfur compounds in odorous emissions from the bio-industry. Biodegredation; 1998, Vol. 9, p.p. 273- 284. Norris, K.B. Dimethylsulf de Emission: Climate Control by Marine Algae? ProQuest; 2003. DMS: Dimethyl Sulf de Overview Bulletin #200B, Gaylord Chemical, 2007. Endnote: 1. For more information on Albedo effect, see: https://www.climate.gov/teaching/ resources/earths-albedo. What is it? Dimethyl sulf de is an organic sulfur compound, primar- ily used as an odorant in natural gas, due to its chemical and thermal stability. It is a colorless to light yellow liquid that produces an unpleasant odor, is insoluble in water, and it can be used as a fuel additive in ethylene oxide to prevent exhaust nozzle fouling and f ring chamber car- bon deposition. In ethylene manufacture, dimethyl sulf de controls coke and carbon monoxide formation. The natu- ral formation of dimethyl sulf de accounts for 15 percent of global sulfur emissions. Why Should I Care? Environmental Concerns: Dimethyl sulf de is the dominant sulfur compound in the marine environment and a signif cant part of the global sulfur cycle. Aqueous dimethyl sulf de is converted to its gaseous form in the atmosphere, which is photo-oxidized to sulfur aerosols. Sulfur aerosol droplets create a positive feedback loop; the droplets scatter solar radiation, creating an "albedo effect," 1 that results in a higher surface temperature. The higher surface temperatures in turn facilitate dimethyl sulf de production. This process affects Earth's radiation balance and contributes to global climate change. Shipping Concerns: Dimethyl sulf de is considered a Hazard Class 3, f am- mable and combustible liquid, and is assigned to packing group II, which indicates the degree of danger and dic- tates packaging, stowage, and segregation requirements. On a vessel, packaged dimethyl sulf de must be stowed away from living quarters. Understanding Dimethyl Sulfi de by CaDeT niCkOleTTe MORin U.S. Coast Guard Academy 86 Proceedings Winter 2014 – 2015 www.uscg.mil/proceedings Chemical of the Quarter