EMS ???

Chuck Staben staben at pop.uky.edu
Thu Jul 20 07:57:01 EST 1995

EMS is a reactive, mutagenic chemical.  EMS is volatile, so it should be used in a fume 
hood.  Gloves should be worn, avoid personal exposure.  Standard lab practice usually is to 
make EMS solutions 5% with sodium thiosulfate to stop reaction.  Spills should be treated with 
a large volume of 5-10% sodium thiosulfate.  This treatment renders EMS (at concentrations 
used in mutagenesis protocols) non-mutagenic.  You should usually package all hazardous wastes 
in secure containers for disposal by qualified handlers of hazardous chemical waste.  Disposal 
of chemical waste is an increasingly sensitive issue at the University of Kentucky, and I 
presume, elsewhere.  
You may wish to consult the MSDS for information regarding the use and disposal of chemicals. 
Your University or organization is probably required by law to have access to these documents. 
Some chemical suppliers have online hooks of their chemical catalogs to MSDS info (see Fisher 
Internet Catalog for an example).  
I have found that MSDS are usually very overcautious, giving little idea of how 
hazardous a chemical really is. (Glucose looks hazardous on an MSDS.  I guess it is, if 
ingested in large amounts over a long period of time.)

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