Increased concentrations of partially reduced oxygen and nitrogen reactive species damage the alveolar epithelium and either cause or exacerbate surfactant deficiency. For this reason, there is a quest to identify surfactant replacement mixtures, which in addition to repleting depleted surfactant stores can also reduce the steady-state concentrations of reactive species in the alveolar space. Herein, we evaluated the ability of natural lung surfactant (NLS) and two mixtures (Exosurf and Survanta) used clinically for the correction of surfactant deficiency to scavenge hydroxyl radical- type species ( · OH), generated either by the decomposition of peroxynitrite or by Fenton reagents (FeCl3 + H2O2). Exosurf or Survanta decreased · OH only when present at high lipid concentrations (6.5 mM). On the other hand, 40 μM of NLS decreased · OH concentrations from 75 ± 2 to 52 ± 2 μM (P < 0.05), most likely because of the interaction of · OH with protein sulfhydryl groups. Similarly, 40 μM of NLS incubated with a bolus of H2O2 (400 μM) decreased the H2O2 concentration in the supernatant by ~50%, due to the presence of catalase-type activity. In contrast to NLS, neither Exosurf nor Survanta scavenged H2O2, even when present at millimolar lipid concentrations. We concluded that Exosurf and Survanta contain limited antioxidant activity compared with NLS.