Zinc oxide powders were heated in different atmospheres at 800 and 1400 degrees C, of which the characterization and the antibacterial activity were studied by X-ray diffractometry and the measurement of the change in electrical conductivity with bacterial growth. The diffraction peaks corresponding to zinc oxide with hexagonal type structure were detected in all samples, which shifted in low-angle side with the increase in the oxidizability of atmosphere during heat-treatment. From the results of calculating lattice constants, a0 and c0, it was found that the value of c0 in hexagonal structure increased with the increase in the oxidizability of atmosphere. On the samples heated at 1400 degrees C, the changes of the c0 value were less than those at 800 degrees C. However, no change of the a0 value showed, irrespective of atmosphere and temperature. Hydrogen peroxide that contributes to the occurrence of antibacterial activity was found to generate from all samples, and the generation amount increased with the increase of c0 value; incidently the amount in the samples heated at 1400 degrees C was less than that at 800 degrees C. The antibacterial activity of zinc oxide increased with the increase of c0 value; that is, it was found that the value of c0 in crystal structure affected the antibacterial activity of zinc oxide.