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Author: Subject: Acetamide toxicity
Pumukli
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[*] posted on 14-5-2019 at 09:09
Acetamide toxicity


I was very surprised when I first saw in Wikipedia that acetamide (CH3CONH2) is a carcinogene. Since then I came across the same info on other places too.

Why (on Earth) would such a simple, seemingly easily bio-degradable, bio-friendly compound be a carcinogene?

Do anyone know the background what I don't?
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DavidJR
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[*] posted on 14-5-2019 at 09:44


Frankly- what isn't a carcinogen?
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Pumukli
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[*] posted on 14-5-2019 at 10:28


Yeah, :)

But there are the "nasties", from which you don't expect anything good. E.g. the polycondensated benzenes, polyhalogenated compounds, strong alkylating agents, heavy metals, etc. You expect some sort of nastiness.

Then comes this inoccus, harmless acetyl-amide and you are baffled. Why? Why is it so insidious? And e.g. the more exotic (alien-looking) dimethyl-acetamide is why not a carcinogene?

My uneducated mind expects acetamide to break down in the body into acetate (a natural substrate for a lot of things in the cells) and ammonium (which is toxic, yes, but ends up as urea in the pee and is generally harmless).

And still, acetamide is a registered carcinogene...
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[*] posted on 14-5-2019 at 10:32


I guess it's an acetylating agent with similar consequences to an alkylating agent.
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Pumukli
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[*] posted on 14-5-2019 at 11:53


The general reactivity of acid-derivatives is: halogenide , anhydridie, ester, amide, nitrile.
Ethyl-acetate is a much more reactive acetylating agent than acetamide but it is apparently more benign. Not carcinogene at least.
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