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Topic: Methanol Toxcicity  (Read 3785 times)

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Offline redbull83

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Methanol Toxcicity
« on: March 16, 2008, 01:39:44 PM »
Yesterday i've been working on my experiment and i had to use methanol. Before i knew that methanol can be toxic if inhaled as well, i opened the bottle of methanol and i tried to smell the liquid inside just to make sure that it is methanol. I also have spilled some on my hands. I thaught that it is poisonous only if it is ingested. This morning i woke up with headaches, nausea, and weakness in my body. Please can someone tell me if this is the result of wut happened to me in the lab and can small quantities of methanol to which i have been exposed be the cause of my sickness?

Offline Arkcon

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Re: Methanol Toxcicity
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2008, 01:47:30 PM »
Yes, solvents have varying degrees of toxicity when inhaled or absorbed through the skin.  I've often wet my hands with methanol, or acetonitrile, and not felt the bad effects you describe, and your exposure sounds similar to mine.  But I wasn't there with you, so I can't be sure. 

It is your and the people in charge of the lab's shared responsibility to read and understand the MSDS for any reagents you use.  Look online now, and see how what you remember of the exposure level compares with the LD50 for methanol, and for the description of the effects, also in the MSDS. 

Then consider if a trip to the emergency room, for a more through check and treatment if warranted.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2008, 02:27:15 PM by Arkcon »
Hey, I'm not judging.  I just like to shoot straight.  I'm a man of science.

Offline Borek

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Re: Methanol Toxcicity
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2008, 02:35:59 PM »
Nobody will answer your question, as there can be zillions of other reasons for exactly the same symptoms. If you have just smelled it (even several times) and just spilled some on your hands - ie contact was short and with minute quantities - I doubt contact with methanol was the reason of headache. AFAIR we used methanol as solvent in organic lab and I have spilled it on my hands or smelled it more than once - and I don't recall any problems. Still, that's me, and between "I doubt" and "I am sure" there is an Atlantic wide gap, so don't read too much from this post.

See http://www.inchem.org/documents/pims/chemical/pim335.htm
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