Thimerosal (also spelled thiomersal) is a mercury-containing organic compound (organomercurial). more...
Thimerosal was developed and registered under the trade name Merthiolate in 1929 by the Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical company, Eli Lilly, and marketed as an antibacterial and antifungal agent. It has been used as an additive to prevent bacterial contamination in vaccines and other compounds such as immune globulin preparations, skin test antigens, anti-venins, ophthalmic and nasal products, and tattoo inks.
The chemical formula for thimerosal is C9H9HgNaO2S. In the body it is metabolized to ethylmercury (C2H5Hg+) and thiosalicylate. Thimerosal causes susceptible bacteria to autolyze (break down their own cells with self-produced enzymes) via an unknown mechanism.
Material Safety Data Sheet
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Synonyms: ethyl-2-mercaptobenzoato(2-)-O,S--mercurate sodium, mercury((o-carboxyphenyl)thio)ethyl sodium salt, mercurothiolate, merzonin sodium, SET, sodium ethylmercuric thiosalicylate, sodium merthiolate, thimerosalate, thiomersalate, merfamin, merthiolate, merthiolate sodium, merzonin, nosemack, merseptyl, 2-mercaptobenzoic acid mercury complex, elcide 75, thiomersal, ethylmercurithiosalicylic acid sodium salt, various other systematic and non-systematic names.
Drug, anti-infective, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, preservative.
Appearance: white or slightly yellow powder
- Molecular formula: C9H9HgNaO2S
- Molar Mass: 404.81 g/mol
- CAS No: 54-64-8
- EC No: 200-210-4
- EC index number: 080-004-00-7
- HS Code: 2930 90 70
- Storage class (VCI): 6.1 B (Non-flammable toxic materials)
- Packing-category: G
- WGK: 3 (highly polluting substance)
- R Phrase: R 26/27/28-33-50/53
- S Phrase: S 13-28.1-36-45-60-61
- pH value: ∼6.7 (10 g/l, H2O, 20 °C)
- Melting point: 232 - 233 °C (decomposition)
- Bulk density: 500 kg/m³
- Solubility in water: 1000 g/l (20 °C)
Stable. May degrade in sunlight. Incompatible with strong acids, strong bases, strong oxidizing agents, iodine, heavy metal salts.
Poison. Experimental neoplastigen and teratogen. Harmful by inhalation and ingestion. May cause reproductive damage. May be harmful through skin contact. Typical OEL 0.05 mg/m3.
Chemical Hazard Symbol: T+ = Very toxic Criteria: Inhalation, swallowing, or absorption through the skin in very small amounts can cause considerable damage to health, and may sometimes be lethal. In the event of exposure serious evidence of severe, possibly irreversible damage to health by single, repeated, or prolonged absorption. MSDS Hazard Symbol T+
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