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Spontaneous Formation of Thiuram Disulfides in Solutions of Iron(III) Dithiocarbamates.

American Chemical Society
Publication Date
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Kinetics
  • Industrial/*Chemistry
  • Chromatography
  • High Pressure Liquidfungicides
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Medicine And Health Sciences
  • Biology


Dithiocarbamates are used as pesticides and rubber additives. Dithiocarbamates are the reduced forms of thiuram disulfides and both of these groups of substances induce allergic contact dermatitis. The allergic cross-reactivity pattern between dithiocarbamates and thiurams is unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate why these cross-reactions occur sometimes but not always. HPLC-analysis of buffer solutions of iron(III) dithiocarbamates demonstrated that thiuram disulfides were formed spontaneously and rapidly in high yield. No such oxidation was observed in solutions of copper(II), zinc(II), or sodium dithiocarbamates. However, sodium diethyldithiocarbamate and zinc diethyldithiocarbamate were oxidized in buffer solution when ferric salt was added. The influence of different metal ions on the oxidation reaction is probably an explanation for the cross-reactivity patterns seen between dithiocarbamates and thiurams. These findings also show that careful handling is necessary in analytical and biological studies with solutions of iron(III) dithiocarbamates. Oxidation of dithiocarbamates in aqueous buffer at physiological pH has not been shown before.

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