I will be using trimethyl tin chloride (1M in THF) in a few days for the first time. Looking at the MSDS, it looks like it is very toxic and has noxious vapors. Are there any more standard precautions for working with it other than the usual?


  • Check for proper airflow in the hood
  • Wear lab coat, safety glasses, and double gloves
  • $\begingroup$ I've never worked with this (which is why this is a comment rather than an answer), but if you're worried that your fumehood and other safety preparations aren't going to cut it, you may want to see if there's either a proper glovebox installation or a portable sealable glovebox available. They can be a bit of a pain to work in, but hey, it's better than tin poisoning. $\endgroup$
    – Aesin
    Jul 26, 2012 at 16:20
  • $\begingroup$ Use a glove bag in a hood, you being double gloved. Properly dispose of all contacted materials, and both sets of gloves. Don't get contaminated during disposal- bag the bag in the hood. I used powdered anhydrous sodium saccharine in a synthesis. I was very careful and it still tasted it. $\endgroup$
    – Uncle Al
    Mar 7, 2014 at 20:28

2 Answers 2


In addition to the safety precautions mentioned in the question, the following can increase the safety for the experimentator:

  • Keep the fume hood as closed as possible with the head outside and the arms inside. Usually this keeps fumes from entering the body, since the fume hood airflow goes the other direction.
  • Work quickly. While this not only minimizes side reactions of the reactant with the air and other things, it also ensures less exposure time, minimizing vaporization.
  • As Aesin mentioned in the comment, if you have concerns about the infrastructure, you could always perform the experiment in a glovebox.

In the end, you have to feel confident that the safety measures are effective. If you don't, you will have fear of the reaction, and inevitably be less concentrated and more prone to errors. In combination with "work quickly" this may well become a disaster.

Maintain a healthy portion of respect, keep quenching agents close by and execute the reagent transfer with a steady hand.


I suggest you to read carefully this sheet nj.gov I'm quoting the main infos:


  • Where possible, enclose operations and use local exhaust ventilation at the site of chemical release. If local exhaust ventilation or enclosure is not used, respirators should be worn.
  • Wear protective work clothing.
  • Wash thoroughly immediately after exposure to Trimethyltin Chloride and at the end of the workshift.
  • Post hazard and warning information in the work area. In addition, as part of an ongoing education and training effort, communicate all information on the health and safety hazards of Trimethyltin Chloride to potentially exposed workers.


  • Where possible, automatically transfer Trimethyltin Chloride from drums or other storage containers to process containers. Good WORK PRACTICES can help to reduce hazardous exposures. The following work practices are recommended:
  • Workers whose clothing has been contaminated by Trimethyltin Chloride should change into clean clothing promptly.
  • Do not take contaminated work clothes home. Family members could be exposed.
  • Contaminated work clothes should be laundered by individuals who have been informed of the hazards of exposure to Trimethyltin Chloride.

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