Nitrosation is a process of converting organic compounds into nitroso derivatives, i.e. compounds containing the R-NO functionality.
- RNHOH + [O] → RNO + H2O
N-nitrosamines, including the carcinogenic variety, arise from the reaction of nitrite sources with amino compounds. Typically this reaction proceeds via the attack of the nitrosonium electrophile on an amine:
- NO2- + 2 H+ → NO+ + H2O
- R2NH + NO+ → R2N-NO + H+