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The toxicity of the methylimidazolium ionic liquids, with a focus on M8OI and hepatic effects

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Alistair Leitch, Dr Tarek Mamdouh AbdelghanyORCiD, Dr Phillip Probert, Dr Stephanie Meyer, Dr Jeremy Palmer, Dr Martin Cooke, Lucy BatesORCiD, Rodrigo Figueiredo, Dr Ibrahim Ibrahim, Professor Colin Wilson, Professor David Jones, Professor Peter Blain, Professor Matthew Wright



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2019 The Authors. Ionic liquids are a diverse range of charged chemicals with low volatility and often liquids at ambient temperatures. This characteristic has in part lead to them being considered environmentally-friendly replacements for existing volatile solvents. However, methylimidazolium ionic liquids are slow to break down in the environment and a recent study at Newcastle detected 1 octyl 3 methylimidazolium (M8OI) – an 8 carbon variant methylimidazolium ionic liquid - in soils in close proximity to a landfill site. The current M8OI toxicity database in cultured mammalian cells, in experimental animal studies and in model indicators of environmental impact are reviewed. Selected analytical data from the Newcastle study suggest the soils in close proximity to the landfill site, an urban soil lacking overt contamination, had variable levels of M8OI. The potential for M8OI - or a structurally related ionic liquid – to trigger primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), an autoimmune liver disease thought to be triggered by an unknown agent(s) in the environment, is reviewed.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Leitch AC, Abdelghany TM, Probert PM, Dunn MP, Meyer SK, Palmer JM, Cooke MP, Blake LI, Morse K, Rosenmai AK, Oskarsson A, Bates L, Figueiredo RS, Ibrahim I, Wilson C, Abdelkader NF, Jones DE, Blain PG, Wright MC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Food and Chemical Toxicology

Year: 2020

Volume: 136

Print publication date: 01/02/2020

Online publication date: 27/12/2019

Acceptance date: 19/12/2019

Date deposited: 06/01/2020

ISSN (print): 0278-6915

ISSN (electronic): 1873-6351

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.fct.2019.111069


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