• hexaconazole;
  • heavy metal;
  • chelator;
  • fungicidal activity



In agricultural areas excessive amounts of toxic heavy metals are a growing threat to the environment and human health. Measures should be taken to minimise the risk of adverse health effects. Hence, we investigated the possibilities of hexaconazole (a commercial fungicidal) as a dual-function ligand that has heavy metal ions chelating and fungicidal activities.


Metal chelation and fungicidal activities were studied by UV, elemental analysis, IR, thermogravimetric study and biological assays. Results showed that hexaconazole had selective binding capability with Cu2+ over other ions such as Zn2+, Cd2+, Mn2+, Fe2+ and Co2+. Soil leaching experiments showed that soil type had a limited effect on heavy-metal adsorption by hexaconazole; with decreasing pH, a notable rise of leaching effect was observed, which reached 22%. In addition, this complex exhibit better fungicidal activity against Blumeria graminis than the same dose of hexaconazole.


This study demonstrates that hexaconazole had notable capabilities to chelate heavy metals as well as excellent fungicidal activity as a metal chelator. Given the mutual influence between pesticides and heavy metals in adsorption–desorption processes, these phenomena must be taken into account if they are to be applied rationally. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry