Nanoparticles of ZnO have been shown to have marked antibacterial and anticancerous activities. The toxic effect of ZnO has been found to exist due to a reaction of the ZnO surface with water. In the present work electron-spin resonance measurements revealed that aqueous suspensions of small nanoparticles of ZnO produce increased levels of reactive oxygen species, namely hydroxyl radicals and singlet oxygen. Interestingly, a remarkable enhancement of the oxy radicals, was detected when the ZnO water suspension had been irradiated with blue (400-500 nm) light. The characterization of the mechanism of light-induced oxy radicals formation by ZnO nanoparticles would contribute to its use as a sterilization agent.