I noticed that thimerosal's molecular structure is basically just sodium benzoate with an attached chain that includes a mercury atom.

Sodium Benzoate sodium benzoate

Thimerosal thimerosal

The Wikipedia article for thimerosal only mentions the oligodynamic effect (biocidal effect of the mercury). However it doesn't explain the oligodynamic effect very thoroughly:

The metals react with thiol (-SH) or amine (-NH(1,2,3)) groups of proteins,

I read that sodium benzoate works by being absorbed into microbes and lowering their pH. Thimerosal is also an anion - can it also be absorbed into microbes and disrupt their pH? Or is it unable to pass through the same channels as sodium benzoate? If it is absorbed is the pH effect insignificant compared to the oligodynamic effect?


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