The mechanism for the atmospheric oxidation of methanesulfinic acid (MSIA) has been studied. This is the first theoretical study of the reaction between MSIA and the OH radical. All the possible channels in this reaction have been studied theoretically, and their corresponding rate constants have been evaluated under the variational transition-state theory (VTST) formalism. Two different products can be formed: the CH3S(O)2 radical (which had been experimentally proposed as the only one), and sulfurous acid (H2SO3). The CH3S(O)2 radical can be formed directly or can form via an intermediate adduct, which yields to the radical through the elimination of a water molecule. For the first time, it is theoretically demonstrated that SO2 is formed in the addition channel of the DMS + OH reaction. The consequences of this result in the interpretation of the T-dependence of the SO42-/MSA (methanesulfonic acid) quocient are analyzed. The competition between the unimolecular dissociation of the CH3S(O)2 radical and OH-addition to yield MSA is proposed as one of the possible multiple branching points (along the DMS + OH degradation scheme) influencing the T-dependence of the SO 42-/MSA relation. © 2007 American Chemical Society.