Environmental occurrence, biological effects, and health implications of zinc pyrithione : A review

Xintong WU, Chang Bum JEONG, Wenlong HUANG, Jack Chi Ho IP, Jiahua GUO, Keng Po LAI, Wenhua LIU, Jiezhang MO*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsReview articleOther Review


Due to the detrimental effects on aquatic organisms and ecosystem, tributyltin as a antifouling agent have been banned worldwide since 1990s. As a replacement for tributyltin, zinc pyrithione (ZnPT) has emerged as a new environmentally friendly antifouling agent. However, the widespread use of ZnPT unavoidably leads to the occurrence and accumulation in aquatic environments, especially in waters with limited sunlight. Despite empirical evidence demonstrating the ecotoxicity and health risks of ZnPT to different organisms, there has been no attempt to compile and interpret this data. The present review revealed that over the past 50 years, numerous studies have documented the toxicity of ZnPT in various organisms, both in vitro and in vivo. However, long-term effects and underlying mechanisms of ZnPT on biota, particularly at environmentally realistic exposure levels, remain largely unexplored. In-depth studies are thus necessary to generate detailed ecotoxicological information of ZnPT for environmental risk assessment and management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116466
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier Ltd


  • Antifoulant
  • Apoptosis
  • Environmental fate
  • Environmental risk assessment
  • Long-term effects
  • Oxidative stress


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