Fact Sheet for Molten Sulfur
This fact sheet answers questions about molten sulfur. For more information, call Oregon Hazardous Substance Incident Surveillance (HSIS) at 971-673-0977.
It is important to understand this information because molten sulfur is a potentially dangerous substance. The harmful effects of this substance depend on several factors: the amount and length of time of exposure, the exposure (you breathed it in or it got on your skin) and whether or not other chemicals are present.
What is sulfur?
Sulfur is a pale yellow solid that might smell like rotten eggs. Sulfur is transported as a molten sulfur or liquid sulfur. Molten sulfur is transported at high temperatures (290°F) to keep the liquid from turning into a solid.
Where is sulfur found?
Sulfur molten is used in sulfuric acid production, petroleum refining and pulp and paper manufacturing. It is also used in making fertilizers, detergents and rubbers.
How might I be exposed?
- Working in industry where substance is produced or used
- Breathing contaminated air or coming into contact with substance during a spill or release incident
What will molten sulfur do to me?
Molten sulfur is flammable. This liquid sulfur can release poisonous gases such as hydrogen sulfide. Inhaling molten sulfur can irritate the nose, throat, and lungs. Contact can irritate and burn the skin and eyes. Eye damage may occur. Exposure can cause headache, nausea, and vomiting.
How can I protect myself?
In the event of a spill or release follow instructions given by emergency responders and local authorities (i.e. shelter in place, evacuation, etc.). Follow precautions and instructions for handling molten sulfur. Keep products out of reach of children. Keep products in original packaging.
In case of an emergency, contact your regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or 911 emergency services for help.
Inhalation: move to fresh air. Begin rescue breathing (using proper respiratory medical
device) if breathing has stopped and CPR if heart has stopped. Get medical attention right away.
Skin contact: remove contaminated clothing. Removal of solidified molten material from skin requires medical assistance. Immediately wash area with large amounts of soap and water. Rinse area for at least 30 minutes. Get medical attention right away.
Eye contact: rinse the whites of eyes with water for at least 30 minutes, lifting upper and lower lids. If possible, remove contact lenses while rinsing. Get medical attention right away.
Ingestion: do not make person vomit.1 Call Oregon Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 or seek medical attention immediately.
Where can I find more information?
Hazardous Substances Incident Surveillance program
Other sources of information include:
- Local health department
- Oregon Poison Center: Phone 1-800-222-1222
- New Jersey Department of Health, Right to Know Hazardous Substance Fact Sheets for Sulfur (English and Spanish)
- U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Emergency Response Guide Book (English and Spanish)
This document was supported by funds from the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) trust fund provided to the Oregon Health Authority under Cooperative Agreement #5U61/TS000130-02 from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
1Oregon Poison Center, 2011