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Pharma Grade DMSO (Dimethyl Sulfoxide) is a very distinctive dipolar highly aprotic organic solvent with a freezing point of 64 Deg F. DMSO by itself is actually odorless, what makes Dimethyl Sulfoxide smell and taste like onions or garlic is DMS (Dimethyl Sulfide).
Industrial grades of DMSO will contain DMS and therefore give off an offensive odor. Pure Pharma Grade Dimethyl Sulfoxide is distilled and purified to remove DMS and any other contaminants leaving it odorless. Dimethyl Sulfoxide, once considered a medical curiosity and now used in many regulated drug delivery and healthcare applications.
The Toxicological aspects of DMSO have been studied extensively over a long period of time and it has been concluded to be a very low toxicity hazard in humans and animals via oral and parenteral routes.
One of the highest concerns surrounding DMSO is that it can take everything through the skin. While DMSO by itself can penetrate fairly easily through the skin and does enhance the adsorption rates of some chemical compounds, it does not have a universal ability to take just anything through the barrier properties of human skin.
Despite the past history, Dimethyl Sulfoxide is proven to be a safe versatile material. It should also be understood that when water is present as a cosolvent in DMSO the penetration kinetics are much lower.