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Zinc pyrithione

Zinc pyrithione
IUPAC name bis(2-pyridylthio)zinc 1,1'-dioxide, zinc OMADINE
Other names ZnP, pyrithione zinc
CAS number 13463-41-7
PubChem 24895737
Molecular formula C10H8N2O2S2Zn
Molar mass 317.70 g/mol
Appearance colourless solid
Boiling point


Solubility in water 8 ppm (pH 7)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox disclaimer and references

Zinc pyrithione is chemical compound used as an antifungal and antibacterial agent. This coordination complex, which has many names, was first reported in the 1930s.[1][2] It features two pyridine-derived chelating ligands bound to zinc via oxygen and sulfur atoms.




Zinc pyrithione is best known for its use in treating dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. It also has antibacterial properties and is effective against many pathogens from the streptococcus and staphylococcus class. Its other medical applications include treatments of psoriasis, eczema, ringworm, fungus, athletes foot, dry skin, atypical dermatitis, tinea, and vitiligo.

Zinc pyrithione is approved for over-the-counter topical use in the United States as a treatment for dandruff. It is the active ingredient in several anti-dandruff shampoos such as Head & Shoulders. However, in its industrial forms and strengths, it may be harmful by contact or ingestion.

In paint

Due to its low solubility in water (8 ppm at neutral pH), zinc pyrithione is suitable for use in outdoor paints and other products that provide protection against mildew and algae. It is an effective algaecide. It is chemically incompatible with paints relying on metal carboxylate curing agents. When used in latex paints and the water contains high amount of iron, a sequestering agent that will preferentially bind the iron ions is needed. Its decomposition by ultraviolet light is slow, providing years of protection even against direct sunlight.

In sponges

Zinc pyrithione is also used as an antibacterial treatment for household sponges, most notably by the 3M Corporation.[3]


Its antifungal effect most likely lies in the ability of an un-ionized pyrithione molecule to disrupt membrane transport by blocking the proton pump that energizes the transport mechanism.[4] Fungi are capable of inactivating pyrithione in low concentrations.


  1. ^ Retrieved on 2007-08-24.
  2. ^ What is Skin Zinc?. Retrieved on 2007-08-24.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Chandler CJ, Segel IH (1978). "Mechanism of the antimicrobial action of pyrithione: effects on membrane transport, ATP levels, and protein synthesis". Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 14 (1): 60-8. PMID 28693.
  • Article Omni Brain: Dandruff Shampoo to Calm Seizures, Apr. 2007
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Zinc_pyrithione". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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