Chemical Detoxification of Organomercurials

Authors

  • Mainak Banerjee,

    1. Department of Chemistry, School of Natural Sciences, Shiv Nadar University, NH91, Dadri, Gautam Buddha Nagar, UP 201314 (India)
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  • Ramesh Karri,

    1. Department of Chemistry, School of Natural Sciences, Shiv Nadar University, NH91, Dadri, Gautam Buddha Nagar, UP 201314 (India)
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  • Kuber Singh Rawat,

    1. Discipline of Chemistry and Center for Material Science & Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Indore (India)
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  • Karthick Muthuvel,

    1. Department of Chemistry, School of Natural Sciences, Shiv Nadar University, NH91, Dadri, Gautam Buddha Nagar, UP 201314 (India)
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  • Dr. Biswarup Pathak,

    1. Discipline of Chemistry and Center for Material Science & Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Indore (India)
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  • Dr. Gouriprasanna Roy

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry, School of Natural Sciences, Shiv Nadar University, NH91, Dadri, Gautam Buddha Nagar, UP 201314 (India)
    • Department of Chemistry, School of Natural Sciences, Shiv Nadar University, NH91, Dadri, Gautam Buddha Nagar, UP 201314 (India)

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  • This work was supported by SNU, IIT Indore, SERB (SB/S1/IC-44/2013), CSIR [01(2723)/13/EMR(II)], and the Government of India. We are grateful to Prof. Rupamanjari Ghosh (Director, SNS, SNU) for encouragement and support. M.B. contributed significantly to this study and both M.B. and R.K. thank SNU for fellowships. We thank AIRF, JNU for TEM, SEM, and NMR facilities, and IIT Roorkee for a TEM facility.

Abstract

Organomercurials including methylmercury are ubiquitous environmental pollutants and highly toxic to humans. Now it could be shown that N-methylimidazole based thiones/selones having an N-CH2CH2OH substituent are remarkably effective in detoxifying various organomercurials to produce less toxic HgE (E=S, Se) nanoparticles. Compounds lacking the N-CH2CH2OH substituent failed to produce HgE nanoparticles upon treatment with organomercurials, suggesting that this moiety plays a crucial role in the detoxification by facilitating the desulfurization and deselenization processes. This novel way of detoxifying organomercurials may lead to the discovery of new compounds to treat patients suffering from methylmercury poisoning.

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