Pure and M-doped (Ba, Ce, Mg) ZnO spherical nanoparticles are synthesized by a simple low temperature co-precipitation method, and were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), high resolution scanning electron microscopy (HR-SEM), and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM). The XRD results showed the formation of single phase ZnO with wurtzite crystal structure and the electron microscopic studies supported the validity for the formation of pure and M-doped (Ba, Ce, Mg) ZnO spherical nanoparticles. Photocatalytic degradation (PCD) of 2,4,6-trichlorophenol, a potent endocrine disrupting chemical in aqueous medium was investigated by both pure and M-doped (Ba, Ce, Mg) ZnO spherical nanoparticles under UV-light irradiation. The influence of the metal dopants on the structure and photocatalytic (PC) activity of ZnO was investigated systematically. Furthermore, the effect of different parameters such as 2,4,6-trichlorophenol concentration, photocatalyst amount, pH and dopant wt% on the resulting PC activity was investigated. The kinetics of the photocatalytic degradation of 2,4,6-trichlorophenol was found to follow the pseudo-first order reaction, and it was established that Ba-doped ZnO is photocatalytically more active than the other photocatalysts. Copyright © 2015 American Scientific Publishers All rights reserved.