Nitrosoamines

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nitrosamines N‐Nitroso derivatives of amines. Found in trace amounts in mushrooms, fermented fish meal and smoked fish, and in pickled foods, where they are formed by reaction between nitrite and amines. They cause cancer in experimental animals, but it is not known whether the small amounts in foods affect human beings, especially since they have also been found in human gastric juice, possibly formed by reaction between amines and nitrites from the diet.

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nitrosamine One of a range of compounds formed by the reaction of nitrous acid (HNO2) with a secondary or tertiary amine. Most nitrosamines are carcinogenic in experimental mammals and fears have been expressed that nitrosamines forming in the human stomach from nitrous acid derived from water contaminated by fertilizer nitrate may cause stomach cancer. This effect has been found only where nitrate intake is extremely high.

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nitrosamines A group of carcinogenic compounds with the general formula RR′NNO, where R and R′ are side groups with a variety of possible structures. Nitrosamines, which are a component of cigarette smoke, cause cancer in a number of organs, particularly in the liver, kidneys, and lungs. An example of a nitrosamine is dimethylnitrosamine, which has two methyl side groups (CH3–).