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Environmental fate & pathways

Hydrolysis

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DMSO stability in water is strongly related to the physico-chemical characteristics of the compartment considered but the more OH radicals occur in aqueous phase, the less DMSO is stable.

DMSO disproportionates in water to dimethyl sulfide and dimethyl sulfone. The redox reaction is catalyzed by light. Two to 3 months DMSO laboratory standards in distilled deionized water and exposed to sunlight produced DMS odor and can contain up to 20% of DMSO2. DMSO laboratory standards in Miami seawater and exposed to sunlight developed strong DMS odor within 24 hours.

DMSO is readily reduced to dimethyl sulfide by reducing agents such as Sn(II), iodine, Ti(III), Cr(II) that may be present in the environment.