Fluorescent Whitening Agent

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A fluorescent whitening agent, commonly known as a white dye, is a chemical substance.  It can improve the whiteness and luster of substances and is now widely used in many fields such as paper, textiles, and detergents, and we have a lot of daily contact with fluorescent whitening agents.

The fluorescent whitening agent is not white, but a colorless dye, its whitening principle is: absorb the sun's ultraviolet light (wavelength in 300 ~ 400nm), so that the molecules in the electron excitation, and then back to the ground state, the ultraviolet energy will disappear part, into a lower energy blue-violet visible light reflected out (wavelength 420 ~ 500nm).

We often divide the fluorescent whitening agent into two categories, one is a water-soluble whitening agent, and the other is a water-insoluble whitening agent. The water-soluble whitening agent can use for paper, paint, laundry detergent, cotton fabric whitening. In addition, water-insoluble whitening agents can be used to whiten chemical fibers and plastics.


What is fluorescent whitening agents?

Fluorescent whitening agents are a class of organic compounds that can absorb ultraviolet light invisible to the naked eye and emit blue or blue-violet light, complementary to the yellow light on the object and has a whitening effect.

Fluorescent brighteners can offset the yellow feeling caused by too much yellow light in the reflected light on the items. Mixed with the heavy yellow light reflected from the items as white light, it can improve the whiteness and brightness of the things. But fluorescent brighteners are only optical brightening complimentary colors and can not replace chemical bleaching. Therefore, it is impossible for some substances that use fluorescent whitening agents to achieve a fundamental whitening.

Fluorescent brighteners are non-irritating to the skin, non-carcinogenic, and have no adverse effect on wound healing, so if you come into contact with them, you can wash them off with a simple rinse.


Is fluorescent agent harmful?

Research results show that fluorescent brighteners have no skin sensitization, phototoxicity, oral toxicity, transdermal toxicity, reproductive toxicity, mutagenicity, and carcinogenicity. So laundry detergents containing fluorescent brighteners are safe for humans and the environment.

Generally speaking, there are specific standards for the addition of fluorescent whitening agents. The detergents and papers that you usually contact are within a reasonable range of fluorescent whitening agents, which will not cause harm to humans when used. When you come into contact with fluorescent agents, there is no need to panic. Immediately cleaned with water can be.


What is the function of fluorescent brightening and example?

Fluorescent brighteners can absorb invisible ultraviolet light (wavelength range of 360-380 nm) and convert it to longer wavelength blue or purple visible light. Therefore, they can compensate for the unwanted yellowish color in the substrate and reflect more visible light than the original incident wavelength in the range of 400-600 nm. This process allows the item to become whiter and brighter.

Fluorescent brighteners have a wide range of applications in synthetic fibers, natural fibers, textiles, paper, detergents, plastics, coatings, anti-counterfeiting, laser detection, and many other fields.

Nowadays, the fluorescent whitening agent has been inseparable from our daily life. Therefore, we should pay attention to using a fluorescent whitening agent and its amount when using it.

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