Industry News

Are optical brighteners harmful?

2020-06-12

Since the 1960s, the environmental protection wave has swept the world, and people began to question the environmental impact of fluorescent whitening agents, as well as the safety of the human body. The peak of the international research on the toxicological effects of optical brighteners also appeared during this period. However, the researchers "sad" that several typical optical brighteners did not show obvious toxicity to various tested organisms. The researchers analyzed the possible toxicity of various optical brighteners from various angles, including what dose will produce acute toxicity; whether it is irritating to the skin and mucous membranes; the possibility of carcinogenic, teratogenic, mutagenic after long-term exposure; whether it is possible Causes allergies; will it accumulate in animals... The result is that the acute toxicity of these substances is very small, and they are almost completely excreted from the body after ingestion. Teratogenic, mutagenic) effects, allergies, etc. The only adverse effect is that when the fluorescent whitening agent is injected and exposed to ultraviolet light at a wavelength of 210-275 nanometers, tumors develop in the mouse body, but this short-wave ultraviolet light cannot enter the atmosphere in the natural environment, that is to say The results of this study have no reference to the life of the earth. Such news should be good news for consumers, but it does not help researchers who need research funding. Therefore, since the 1980s, there have been fewer studies on the biological effects of optical brighteners, and more people have turned to Study how to improve the detection level of such substances, analyze their distribution and degradation in the environment, and how to synthesize more easily degradable and less harmful to the environment. The international community has generally accepted such substances as conventional additives for paper, plastic products, textiles, laundry detergents, etc.