Methyl iodide (CH 3I) is an important trace greenhouse gas in the atmosphere and an ozone-depleting substance. The influence of different environmental factors, such as the duration of illumination; the strength of illumination; the concentrations of humic acid, ferric ion (Fe 3+), and iodide ion (I −); and pH, on the photochemical production of CH 3I in artificial seawater (ASW) were tested by simulated solar irradiation. In addition, Yangtze River Estuary waters from inshore to offshore were used to explore the relationship between the photochemical production of CH 3I and different sources of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in natural seawater (NSW). The results revealed that higher concentrations of humic acid and I −, as well as higher strengths of illumination and longer illumination durations, promoted the photochemical formation of CH 3I in ASW. The addition of Fe 3+ accelerated the photochemical production of CH 3I, but high concentrations of Fe 3+ inhibited the formation of CH 3I. Experiments on NSW obtained from the Yangtze River estuary spiked when concentrations of DOM were high, confirming that DOM plays an important role in facilitating the photochemical production of CH 3I within the Yangtze River Estuary. The photochemical production of CH 3I in the seawater was significantly higher under light conditions relative to dark conditions, indicating that illumination accelerated the production of CH 3I.