Toxicity of Metal Pyrithione Photodegradation Products to Marine Organisms with Indirect Evidence for Their Presence in Seawater

  • Toshimitsu OndukaEmail author
  • Kazuhiko Mochida
  • Hiroya Harino
  • Katsutoshi Ito
  • Akira Kakuno
  • Kazunori Fujii


We evaluated the acute toxicities of the metal pyrithiones (MePTs)—copper pyrithione (CuPT) and zinc pyrithione (ZnPT)—to four species of marine algae and a marine crustacean (Tigriopus japonicus). We also performed acute toxicity tests using six of the main MePT photodegradation products: pyridine-N-oxide (PO); 2-mercaptopyridine (HPS); pyridine-2-sulfonic-acid (PSA); 2-mercaptopyridine-N-oxide (HPT); 2,2′-dithio-bis-pyridine ([PS]2); and 2,2′-dithio-bis-pyridine-N-oxide ([PT]2)—and three marine organisms representing three trophic levels: an alga (Skeletonema costatum), a crustacean (T. japonicus), and a fish (Pagrus major). The acute toxicity values (72-h EC50) of CuPT, ZnPT, HPT, (PT)2, (PS)2, HPS, PO, and PSA for S. costatum, which was the most sensitive of the test organisms to the chemicals tested, were 1.5, 1.6, 1.1, 3.4, 65, 730, >100,000, and >100,000 μg l−1, respectively. CuPT was detected in the growth media used for S. costatum tests and in seawater containing HPT or (PT)2; the concentration of CuPT in seawater containing HPT was highly dependent on the Cu2+ concentration. These results indicate that in the presence of sufficient Cu2+, the toxicities of HPT and (PT)2 should be assessed as CuPT because in Japan MePTs are most frequently used as antifouling booster biocides in conjunction with cuprous oxide.


Acute Toxicity Cuprous Oxide Photodegradation Product Zinc Pyrithione Cyprinodon Variegatus 
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The authors thank Yutaka Okumura (Tohoku National Fisheries Research Institute); Satoshi Arima, Miki Shoda, Chiaki Hiramoto (National Research Institute of Fisheries and Environment of Inland Sea); and Yoshitomi Fine Chemicals (Osaka, Japan) for the gift of CuPT and ZnPT. This study was funded with support from the Ministry of the Environment, Japan (project; Environmental Risk Assessment on Antifouling Agents [FY2006-2009]).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Toshimitsu Onduka
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kazuhiko Mochida
    • 1
  • Hiroya Harino
    • 2
    • 3
  • Katsutoshi Ito
    • 1
    • 4
  • Akira Kakuno
    • 1
  • Kazunori Fujii
    • 1
  1. 1.National Research Institute of Fisheries and Environment of Inland SeaFisheries Research AgencyHiroshimaJapan
  2. 2.Osaka City Institute of Public Health and Environmental SciencesOsakaJapan
  3. 3.School of Human SciencesKobe CollegeHyogoJapan
  4. 4.South Ehime Fisheries Research CenterEhime UniversityEhimeJapan

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