Dimethyl sulfoxide poses decomposition danger

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Chemists are once again raising safety concerns about dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), following research that has probed how the popular solvent decomposes when heated. DMSO decomposition has caused many industrial and laboratory explosions since the 1960s, according to accident reports. DMSO is widely used because it is so versatile: it can dissolve polar and nonpolar compounds alike and mixes well with water and organic solvents. It also has a low vapor pressure and low toxicity that make for easier use in the lab and in industrial processes.



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