Stilbenes Group - information sheet

C.I. Fluorescent Brightener 28, disodium salt
CAS Registry Number4193-55-9

Fluorescent Brightener FWA-1
CAS Registry Number 16090-02-1

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Overview

  • The Government of Canada conducted a science-based evaluation, called a screening assessment to address the potential for harm to Canadians and to the environment from 2 substances in the Stilbenes Group.
  • Under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999), the risk posed by a substance is determined by considering both its hazardous properties (its potential to cause adverse human health or ecological effects) and the amount of exposure there is to people and the environment. A substance may have hazardous properties; however, the risk to human health or to the environment may be low depending upon the level of exposure.
  • The ecological hazard and exposure potentials of these substances were classified using the Ecological Risk Classification of Organic Substances Approach.
  • The 2 substances in the Stilbenes Group are considered to be of low concern for human health, and were classified as having a low ecological hazard potential. Therefore, it is concluded that these 2 substances are not harmful to human health or the environment at current levels of exposures.

About these substances

  • This screening assessment focused on 2 of the 4 substances referred to collectively under the Chemicals Management Plan (CMP) as the Stilbenes Group. The substances addressed in this screening assessment are benzenesulfonic acid, 2,2'-(1,2-ethenediyl)bis[5-[[4-[bis(2-hydroxyethyl)amino]-6-(phenylamino)-1,3,5-triazin-2-yl]amino]-, disodium salt; and benzenesulfonic acid, 2,2'-(1,2-ethenediyl)bis[5-[[4-(4-morpholinyl)-6-(phenylamino)-1,3,5-triazin-2-yl]amino]-, disodium salt. These are also referred to as C.I. Fluorescent Brightener 28, disodium salt; and Fluorescent Brightener FWA-1, respectively.
  • The other 2 substances in the Stilbenes Group were determined to be of low concern to both human health and the environment through other approaches. Conclusions for CAS RNs 1533-45-5 and 3426-43-5 are provided in the Screening Assessment for the Rapid Screening of Substances with Limited General Population Exposure.
  • C.I. Fluorescent Brightener 28, disodium salt and Fluorescent Brightener FWA-1 are not naturally-occurring substances. These substances are used as dyes and bleaching agents in laundry detergents and dishwashing products.
  • According to information gathered by the Government, these substances are man-made and they do not occur naturally in the environment. 
  • In Canada, the substances are used as whitening agents. C.I. Fluorescent Brightener 28, disodium salt is found in liquid detergents while, Fluorescent Brightener FWA-1 is found in powdered detergents.

Human and ecological exposures

  • Although Canadians may be exposed to these substances while using laundry detergent, the exposure was not further characterized in the assessment as these substances are considered to be of low concern for human health.
  • According to information considered under the Ecological Risk Classification of Organic Substances Approach, C.I. Fluorescent Brightener 28, disodium salt was identified as having a moderate ecological exposure potential based on potential emission rates to the environment.  Fluorescent Brightener FWA-1, however, was identified as having low ecological exposure potential.  

Key health and ecological effects (hazard)

  • To identify health effects information, international reports of data on C.I. Fluorescent Brightener 28, disodium salt and Fluorescent Brightener FWA-1 were reviewed.
  • The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reviewed these substances through the Cooperative Chemicals Assessment Programme and Screening Information Data Set (SIDS) and SIDS Initial Assessment Reports (SIAR) are available. The OECD indicated that these substances are not expected to have reproductive or developmental effects based on studies conducted with structurally similar chemicals.
  • According to information considered under the Ecological Risk Classification of Organic Substances Approach, C.I. Fluorescent Brightener 28, disodium salt and Fluorescent Brightener FWA-1 were identified as having moderate ecological hazard potential based on their ecotoxicity.

Risk assessment outcomes

  • Human health effects of concern were not identified for these 2 substances. Therefore, the risk to human health from these 2 substances is considered to be low. 
  • Based upon the outcome of the Ecological Risk Classification of Organic Substances Approach, these 2 substances are considered unlikely to cause ecological harm.
  • The Government of Canada published the Final Screening Assessment for the Stilbenes Group on February 2, 2019.

Screening assessment conclusions

  • As a result of this screening assessment, the Government concluded that these 2 substances are not harmful to human health at current levels of exposure.
  • The Government also concluded that these 2 substances are not entering the environment at levels that are harmful to the environment.

Related information

  • These 2 substances can be found in products available to consumers. Canadians can follow any safety warnings and directions on product labels and dispose of products responsibly.
  • Visit Healthy Home for more information on chemical safety in and around the home.
  • Canadians who may be exposed to C.I. Fluorescent Brightener 28, disodium salt or Fluorescent Brightener FWA-1in the workplace can consult with their employer and an occupational health and safety (OHS) representative about safe handling practices, applicable laws, and requirements under OHS legislation and the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS).
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