Determination of the Antifouling Agent Zinc Pyrithione in Water Samples by Copper Chelate Formation and High-Performance Liquid Chromatography-Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionisation Mass Spectrometry

J Chromatogr A. 1999 Feb 12;833(1):105-9. doi: 10.1016/s0021-9673(98)01009-7.


Zinc pyrithione has recently been incorporated into antifouling paints as a booster biocide, which is slowly released into the water as the paint ages. In order to determine concentrations of zinc pyrithione (ZPT) in aqueous samples, a liquid chromatographic method has been developed. Since ZPT interacts with certain reversed-phase packing materials or stainless steel components of the HPLC system, the method uses transchelation of the ZPT into the stable copper(II) complex before analysis by liquid chromatography coupled to atmospheric pressure chemical ionisation mass spectrometry. ZPT was extracted as copper pyrithione using dichloromethane with adequate recovery (77% +/- 17%, n = 6) from 2-l water samples. The limit of detection was calculated to be 20 ng/l, using selected ion monitoring. The analysis of samples collected from various UK marinas showed no detectable concentrations to be present, whilst a laboratory-based study confirmed that this is probably due to the rapid photodegradation of ZPT in seawater.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / analysis*
  • Atmospheric Pressure
  • Chelating Agents / chemistry*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods*
  • Copper / chemistry*
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Organometallic Compounds / analysis*
  • Pyridines / analysis*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis*


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Chelating Agents
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Pyridines
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Copper
  • pyrithione zinc