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The Stilbene Fluorescent Whitening Agents (SFWA), also sometimes referred to as stilbene optical or fluorescent brighteners, are treated as members of a category, comprising the following fifteen substances (CAS numbers): 4404-43-7, 16090-02-1, 13863-31-5, 4193-55-9, 70942-01-7, 27344-06-5, 42355-78-2, 67786-25-8, 28950-61-0, 16324-27-9, 16470-24-9, 17958-73-5, 41098-56-0, 68971-49-3, 52301-70-9. Of the fifteen category members, fourteen were registered under REACh. For these fourteen registered substances tests were conducted according to the data requirements of the associated tonnage band. According to the general rules for grouping of substances and read-across approach laid down in Annex XI, Item 1.5, of Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006, substances may be considered as a category provided that their physicochemical, toxicological and ecotoxicological properties are likely to be similar or follow a regular pattern as a result of structural similarity. The substances within the category are based on these principles are considered to apply to these general rules. In addition some of the proposed members where firstly assessed within the chemical category of Stilbene Fluorescent Whitening Agents recognized under the framework of the US HPV Chemical Challenge Program. In each case of read-across, the best suited read-across was chosen where possible, or a weight of evidence approach in accordance with Annex XI, Item 1.2, of Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006. Nevertheless, as it can be seen in the data matrix of the category justification in IUCLID Section 13, all reliable data in the category support the hazard assessment of each category member by showing a consistent pattern of results.

For a detailed reference list please refer to the CSR or IUCLID section 13.

At least one reliable study for any of the three acute trophic levels is here reported: in all the (L)EC50 was recorded higher than 1000 mg/l and no general toxicity at high concentrations was observed. Each study is supported by further several consistent studies.

Regarding long-term studies, a Daphnia magna reproductive study is available on the substance CAS 16470-24-9; the result has been considered to establish the NOEC for the substance (NOEC = 6.59 mg/l).

No further long-term studies are proposed, since significant direct and indirect exposure is unlikely due to the risk management measures that will be applied at industrial level and discussed in details within the exposure scenario to avoid any release of the substance directly in the municipal waste water treatment. The local RCR in surface water is calculated as 0.089 and 0.0052 based on estimated and monitored quantities, respectively, demonstrating that the risk for aquatic compartment is controlled.