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  • Zinc pyrithione is a chemical compound used as an antifungal and antibacterial agent. 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.
  • The effectiveness of pyrithione zinc is well-established, but as with many modern medicines that have evolved from time-tested remedies, the way the drug actually works is less clear.


  • If zinc pyrithione is used as a preservative in cosmetic and hygiene products the total proportion can be no more than 0,5 %. zinc pyrithione has also started to be used as an active substance in boat hull paint.
  • Topical zinc pyrithione appears to be a safe and effective treatment for psoriasis. An aerosol preparation of zinc pyrithione (0.25%) in a vehicle containing isopropyl myristate appears to be a safe and effective treatment for psoriasis.


  • Zinc pyrithione was found to be negative in mutation tests in bacteria and Chinese hamster ovary cells. Similarly, no chromosomal aberration was observed in human lymphocytes incubated in vitro in the presence of zinc pyr ithione or in lymphocytes harvested from monkeys
  • The mineralization of 4,5-dichloro-2-n-octyl-4-isothiazolin-3-on (DCOI) and zinc pyrithione was examined in laboratory tests with marine coastal sediments.


  • Zinc pyrithione has been used as a booster biocide in antifouling paints of ships. For its environmental risk assessment, a direct analyzing technique of zinc pyrithione has been developed using HPLC-MS without transforming to other substances.
  • There was a focus to extend for the first time the analytical utility of SPE and LC-MS technique for the isolation and identification of ZnPT Photolytic transformation products.


  • According to one investigation in general stores and on the Internet to try and identify which dandruff shampoos contain zinc pyrithione. In this investigation, five different brands of dandruff shampoo containing zinc pyrithione are sold in general stores.

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