The study of the important role of peroxyl radicals in biological systems is limited by their difficult detection with direct electron spin resonance (ESR). Many ESR spectra were assigned to 5,5-dimethyl-1-pyrroline N-oxide (DMPO)/peroxyl radical adducts based only on the close similarity of their ESR spectra to that of DMPO/superoxide radical adduct in conjunction with their insensitivity to superoxide dismutase, which distinguishes the radical adduct from DMPO/superoxide radical adduct. Later, the spin-trapping literature reported that DMPO/peroxyl radical adducts have virtually the same hyperfine coupling constants as synthesized alkoxyl radical adducts, raising the issue of the correct assignment of peroxyl radical adducts. However, using 17O-isotope labelling, the methylperoxyl and methoxyl radical adducts should be distinguishable. We have reinvestigated the spin trapping of the methylperoxyl radical. The methylperoxyl radical was generated in aerobic solution with 17O-molecular oxygen either in a Fenton system with dimethylsulfoxide or in a chloroperoxidase system with tert-butyl hydroperoxide. Two different spin traps, DMPO and 2,2,4-trimethyl-2H-imidazole-1-oxide (TMIO), were used to trap methylperoxyl radical. 17O-labelled methanol was used to synthesize methoxyl radical adducts by nucleophylic addition. It was shown that the 17O hyperfine coupling constants of radical adducts formed in methylperoxyl radical-generating systems are identical to that of the methoxyl radical adduct. Therefore, methylperoxyl radical-producing systems form detectable methoxyl radical adduct, but not detectable methylperoxyl radical adducts at room temperature. One of the possible mechanisms is the decomposition of peroxyl radical adduct with the formation of secondary alkoxyl radical adduct. These results allow us to reinterpret previously published data reporting detection of peroxyl radical adducts. We suggest that detection of 17O-alkoxyl radical adduct from 17O-labelled molecular oxygen can be used as indirect evidence for peroxyl radical generation.