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J Toxicol Environ Health. 1981 Jul-Aug;8(1-2):71-88.

Acute and subchronic toxicity studies of rats exposed to vapors of methyl mercaptan and other reduced-sulfur compounds.


Acute inhalation experiments were conducted to determine 24-h LC50 values for adult Sprague-Dawley rats of both sexes exposed to vapors of methyl mercaptan and other reduced-S compounds for 4 h periods. Using calculated gas concentrations, the following LC50 value for each gas and combination was determined: metyhl mercaptan, 675 ppm; dimethyl sulfide, 40,250 ppm; dimethyl disulfide, 805 ppm; hydrogen sulfide, 444 ppm; and an equimolar mixture of methyl mercaptan, dimethyl sulfide, and dimethyl disulfide, 550 ppm. The effects of body and tissue weights, gross metabolic performance, O2 consumption, systolic blood pressure, various blood parameters, and intestinal transit time associated with 3-mo exposures of young adult male rats to chemically verified concentrations of 2, 17, and 57 ppm methyl mercaptan vapor are summarized in this report. No mortality was experienced by any group. Histopathological findings were essentially nil except for microscopic suggestions of liver damage. The most readily apparent phenomenon was the decrease in body weight. Average values of terminal body weights for all exposed groups were lower than that for the sham control group. This difference was significant in the 57 ppm group and followed a statistically significant dose-related trend.

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