How harmful are fluorescent agents? The truth is here
Fluorescent agents are actually fluorescent brighteners. In the current national standard "GB/T6687-2006 Terminology of Dyes", fluorescent brighteners are defined as "a colorless fluorescent dye that, under the irradiation of ultraviolet light, can excite blue and purple light, complementing with yellow light on the substrate to achieve whitening effect. It is precisely because of its "complementary whitening effect with yellow light" that textiles made from cotton and various types of paper made from pulp have a special preference for fluorescent whitening agents in the manufacturing of daily necessities with a "yellow based" raw material matrix
Is fluorescent whitening agent toxic or carcinogenic?
If you search for fluorescent agents on the internet, most of the results are prominently written with words such as "toxic" or "carcinogenic", which looks particularly scary. However, according to data statistics, after more than 70 years of use both domestically and internationally, there have been no cases of illness or personal injury caused by fluorescent whitening agents.
Nowadays, fluorescent brighteners have been widely used in textile, papermaking, laundry detergent, soap, rubber, plastics, pigments, and paints. Animal experiments have shown that after entering the digestive system, these substances basically pass through the intestine without significant accumulation in the body. Its toxic effect is weak, there is no hormonal effect, and no obvious teratogenicity or carcinogenicity has been observed. Although it is an aromatic compound containing a benzene ring, there are indeed no clear experimental results that can prove its carcinogenicity.
Additionally, as it can also be used in detergents and textiles, it is important to consider the potential issues that may arise when in contact with the skin. Current research indicates that they are still safe and have not been found to have photosensitive effects on organisms, nor do they produce mucosal irritation. Although there is a possibility of allergic reactions for very few individuals, the fluorescence dose required to trigger allergic reactions is much greater than daily exposure. The only concern that fluorescent agents in clothing may have is that they can cause skin allergies in certain sensitive populations, which is also one of the reasons why some countries restrict the use of fluorescent agents in clothing or sanitary napkins.