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What is Sodium Pyrithione?

by Claudia

Sodium Pyrithione has a molecular formula of C5H4NOSNa. It is a salt form of Pyrithione, which is a microbial and fungistatic aspergillic acid derivation. On its own, it has a formula of C5H5NOS and a molecular weight of 127.17, but when combined with sodium, it becomes 149.16. an elucidated explanation by experts about Pyrithione is that it meddles with membrane transport which eventually leads to losing metabolic control.

According to the laboratory safety sheet, it is acutely toxic and an irritant which gives you a clue to take safety precautions while working with it. In this article, the properties, specifications, and uses of sodium pyrithione will be discussed in particular. So, read on till the end to learn about this mysterious sodium salt!


Sodium Pyrithione has many synonyms like; sodium imagine, 2-Mercaptopyridine N-oxide sodium, Pyrithione sodium salt, etc. it comes according to two grades, one is the industrial grade, and the other one is pharmaceutical grade. The industrial-grade sodium Pyrithione comes in a liquid form which appears to be a light-yellow color, while the latter appears to be an off-white powder. Just like ethanol, C5H4NOSNa is an organic solvent and is extremely soluble in water.

Sodium Pyrithione is capable of sterilizing and restraining 8 types of molds, 2 types of yeast fungus, namely; baker’s yeast and distillery yeast, and last but not least, five types of bacteria. This sodium salt remains stable in neutral or alkaline circumstances, but in acidic conditions, its effect minimizes. The pharmaceutical-grade sodium Pyrithione has a PH value of 8.5 to 10.5 and a maximum of 5% drying loss. Whereas on the other hand, there is no drying loss of this sodium salt in industrial grade, and its pH value remains 9 to 11.


Sodium Pyrithione, also known as SPT in a shorter form, is considered one of the most effectual industrial water-soluble preservatives, which is an anti-mold. Its characteristics involve; low toxicity, high efficiency, stable and broad spectrum. And because of these valuable characteristics, they are used in several industries given below:


Industries that tackle anti-mildew situations make great use of SPT, and some of the main products are personal care products like hair care, including shampoos, leather products, adhesives and sealants, textiles, and pesticides. They are also being used in architectural coatings and metalworking fluids.


SPT is widely used in the formulas which work to make preservatives. Furthermore, as it is an effective fungicide, pharmaceutical companies use these to produce broad-spectrum anti-fungal drugs. The edible industry uses this to prevent wheat, fruit trees, vegetables, and peanuts from fungal attacks. SPT is also widely used in making preservatives for silkworms.


The chemical industries make use of sodium Pyrithione in producing chemical detergents and disinfectants. The cleaning chemicals that are used for household chores in a daily routine also contain SPT.


To preserve the sodium Pyrithione salt, the containers should be sterilized and airtight. If stored properly in 25 kg and 250 kg drums, you can expect SPT to be best for a span of 24 months. The storage place should also be cool and dry, and it should be shady away from direct sunlight. Although it is very low on the toxicity spectrum, it could be harmful if it comes in contact with sensitive body parts. Take precautionary measures beforehand to avoid any bad consequences.

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