Diethyl Sulfate
64-67-5
Hazard Summary
Diethyl sulfate is used as an ethylating agent and as a chemical intermediate. No information is available
on the acute (short-term), chronic (long-term), reproductive, or developmental effects of diethyl sulfate in
humans. In an epidemiological study, an excess mortality rate from laryngeal cancer was associated with
occupational exposure to high concentrations of diethyl sulfate. In one study, rats orally exposed to
diethyl sulfate developed tumors in the forestomach. EPA has not classified diethyl sulfate with respect to
potential carcinogenicity. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified diethyl
sulfate as a Group 2A, probable human carcinogen.
Please Note: The main sources of information for this fact sheet are the Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB) (1), a
database of summaries of peer-reviewed literature and the IARC monographs on chemicals carcinogenic to
humans. (5)
Uses
 Diethyl sulfate is primarily used as an ethylating agent, and also as an accelerator in the sulfation of
ethylene and in some sulfonations. (1,6)
	Diethyl sulfate is also a chemical intermediate for ethyl derivatives of phenols, amines, and thiols, and as
an alkylating agent. (1)
Sources and Potential Exposure
	The most probable routes of exposure to diethyl sulfate are by dermal contact or inhalation during its
production or use. (1)
	Individuals may also be exposed to diethyl sulfate in the ambient environment from fugitive emissions. (1)
Assessing Personal Exposure
	No information was located regarding the measurement of personal exposure to diethyl sulfate.
Health Hazard Information
Acute Effects:
	No information is available on the acute effects of diethyl sulfate in humans.
	Tests involving acute exposure of rats, mice, and rabbits have demonstrated diethyl sulfate to
have moderate acute toxicity when ingested and high acute toxicity from dermal exposure. (2)
Chronic Effect s (Noncancer):
	No information is available on the chronic effects of diethyl sulfate in humans or animals.
	EPA has not established a Reference Concentration (RfC) or a Reference Dose (RfD) for diethyl sulfate. (3)
Reproductive/Develop mental Effects:
	No information is available on the reproductive or developmental effects of diethyl sulfate in humans.
	After a single subcutaneous dose to pregnant rats, malignant tumors of the nervous system were reported

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in the offspring. (1,4,5)
Cancer Risk:
	In an epidemiological study, an excess mortality rate from laryngeal cancer was associated with
occupational exposure to high concentrations of diethyl sulfate. (5)
	In one study, rats exposed to diethyl sulfate by gavage (experimentally placing the chemical in the
stomach) developed tumors in the forestomach. In another study, local tumors and metastasis of the lung
were observed in rats exposed by subcutaneous injection. (1,4,5)
	EPA has not classified diethyl sulfate with respect to potential carcinogenicity. (3)
 IARC has classified diethyl sulfate as a Group 2A, probably carcinogenic to humans, based on limited
evidence in humans and sufficient evidence in animals. (1,5)
Physical Properties
	The chemical formula for diethyl sulfate is C H OS, and its molecular weight is 1 54.1 9 g/mol. (6)
4 10 4
	Diethyl sulfate occurs as a colorless, oily liquid that darkens with age and is practically insoluble with water.
(1,6)
	Diethyl sulfate has a faint ethereal or peppermint odor; the odor threshold has not been established. (1,6)
	The vapor pressure for diethyl sulfate is 0.29 mm Hg at 25 C, and its log octanol/water partition
coefficient (log K ) is 1.14.(1)
ow
Conversion Factors:
3	3
To convert concentrations in air (at 2 5 C) from ppm to mg/rn : mg/m = (ppm) x (molecular weight of the
compound)/(24.45). For diethyl sulfate: 1 ppm = 6.31 mg/m .
Health Data from Inhalation Exposure

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3
"ft
E

5
Diethyl Sulfate
10000
1000
100
10
Regulatory, advisory
numbers'1.
Health numbers
LD (rattf (880 ring/kg)
LD (mice) 054 7 mg/hg)
Est
LD50 (Lethal Dose 50)A calculated dose of a chemical in water to which exposure for a specific length of time is
expected to cause death in 50% of a defined experimental animal population.
The health values cited in this factsheet were obtained in December 1 999.
a
Health numbers are toxicological numbers from animal testing or risk assessment values developed by EPA.
b
Regulatory numbers are values that have been incorporated in Government regulations, while advisory numbers
are nonregulatory values provided by the Government or other groups as advice.
Summary created in April 1 992, updated January 2000
References
1.	U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB, online database).
National Toxicology Information Program, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD. 1 993.
2.	U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS,
online database). National Toxicology Information Program, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD.
1993.
3.	U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) on Diethyl Sulfate. National
Center for Environmental Assessment, Office of Research and Development, Washington, DC. 1 999.
4.	International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of the
Carcinogenic Risk of Chemicals to Man: Some Aromatic Amines, Hydrazine and Related Substances, N-
Nitroso Compounds and Miscellaneous Alkylating Agents. Volume 4. World Health Organization, Lyon.
1974.
5.	International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of the

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Carcinogenic Risk of Chemicals to Humans: Chemicals, Industrial Processes and Industries Associated with
Cancer in Humans. Supplement 4. World Health Organization, Lyon. 1 982.
6. The Merck Index. An Encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs, and Biologicals. 1 1 th ed. Ed. S. Budavari. Merck and
Co. Inc., Rahway, NJ. 1 989.

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