Sulfur Dioxide Information

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Sulfur Dioxide

Other Names

Sulfurous anhydride; sulfurous oxide; sulphur dioxide

Chemical Formula

SO2

CAS Number

7446 – 09 – 5

Industry Uses

Volcanic Activity; Fossil Fuels; Pharmaceuticals

Health Risks

Irritation; Respiratory Symptoms; Dermal Burns/Frostbite

Vapor Pressure

3.2 atm

Water Solubility

Slightly Soluble; Reacts with Water and Steam

Flammability

Non-Flammable

Odor

Pungent, Irritating

Sulfur Dioxide MSDS

What is Sulfur Dioxide?

Sulfur Dioxide is a highly toxic, colorless gas that is non-flammable. It exists in all living species from bacteria to humans. Sulfur Dioxide is released naturally by volcanic activity and is produced as a by-product of the burning of fossil fuels contaminated with sulfur compounds. It is an environmental air pollutant. It is also used as a pharmaceutical aid and antioxidant, as well as a sanitizing agent for food containers and fermentation equipment. Sulfur Dioxide is heavier than air so fumes tend to travel along the ground. When exposed to heat or fire, containers of sulfur dioxide can explode and rocket.

Sulfur Dioxide Exposure and Health Risks

Sulfur Dioxide is highly toxic when inhaled. Even very short exposures to small quantities can cause death. Sulfur Dioxide is a respiratory irritant, causing inflammation to nose, throat, and lungs, choking, coughing, discharge of nasal mucous, and bronchoconstriction if inhaled. Pulmonary edema, cyanosis, pneumonia, respiratory paralysis, and death can occur if exposure is severe. If directly contacted it can cause skin burns and/or frostbite.

Regulations

The table below summarizes the most-recent exposure limits.

Limit/Level

Type

Organization

0.2

AEGL-1 (8 hrs)

EPA

0.75 ppm

AEGL-2 (8 hrs)

EPA

9.6 ppm

AEGL-3 (8 hrs)

EPA

5 ppm

TWA (8 hrs)

OSHA

2 ppm

TWA (8 hrs)

NIOSH

5 ppm

Short-Term

NIOSH

Sources: NIOSH, OSHA, EPA

Measuring Sulfur Dioxide

Sulfur Dioxide concentration in the air can be measured in units of parts per million (ppm). Many of our products have digital communication capabilities for easy monitoring and control. We carry portable and fixed Sulfur Dioxide monitors and kits. All of our Sulfur Dioxide products can be viewed HERE.

Contact us for help choosing the right monitor for your application