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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

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

Leitch, Alistair C.; Abdelghany, Tarek M.; Probert, Philip M.; Dunn, Michael P.; Meyer, Stephanie K.; Palmer, Jeremy M.; Cooke, Martin P.; Blake, Lynsay I.; Morse, Katie; Rosenmai, Anna K.; Oskarsson, Agneta; Bates, Lucy; Figueiredo, Rodrigo S.; Ibrahim, Ibrahim; Wilson, Colin; Abdelkader, Noha F.; Jones, David E.; Blain, Peter G.; Wright, Matthew C.


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.


PBC; Ionic liquids; Liver; C8[mim]; Autoimmunity; Xenobiotics

Published in

Food and Chemical Toxicology
2020, volume: 136, article number: 111069

Authors' information

Leitch, Alistair C.
Newcastle Univ
Abdelghany, Tarek M.
Newcastle Univ
Probert, Philip M.
Newcastle Univ
Dunn, Michael P.
Newcastle Univ
Meyer, Stephanie K.
Newcastle Univ
Palmer, Jeremy M.
Newcastle Univ
Cooke, Martin P.
Newcastle Univ
Blake, Lynsay I.
Univ Durham
Morse, Katie
Newcastle Univ
Rosenmai, Anna
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Biomedical Science and Veterinary Public Health
Bates, Lucy
Newcastle Univ
Figueiredo, Rodrigo S.
Freeman Rd Hosp
Ibrahim, Ibrahim
Newcastle Univ
Wilson, Colin
Newcastle Univ
Abdelkader, Noha F.
Cairo Univ
Jones, David E.
Newcastle Univ
Blain, Peter G.
Newcastle Univ
Wright, Matthew C.
Newcastle Univ

UKÄ Subject classification

Pharmacology and Toxicology

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