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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 37 No. 4, p. 565-568
    Received: Jan 2, 1973
    Accepted: Mar 20, 1973

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Formation of Dimethylnitrosamine, a Carcinogen and Mutagen, in Soils Treated with Nitrogen Compounds1

  1. Abateni Ayanaba,
  2. Willy Verstraete and
  3. Martin Alexander2



Dimethylamine was formed from trimethylamine in a spodosol (pH 3.8), a silty clay loam (pH 5.8), and a silt loam (pH 6.5). Dimethylnitrosamine appeared if the soils were amended with the tertiary amine and nitrate or nitrite or with dimethylamine and nitrite. The amines were added to soil to a concentration of 50 and 500 ppm as nitrogen. The nitrosamine also was produced from the tri- or dimethylamine in the spodosol in the absence of supplemental inorganic nitrogen. The fungicide, thiram, was converted to dimethylnitrosamine in the spodosol treated with nitrate or nitrite. The identity of the nitrosamine was verified by ultraviolet spectrometry and thin-layer and gas chromatography. Dimethylamine and dimethylnitrosamine disappeared with time from the soils.

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