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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water and sediment: simulation tests

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Description of key information

No biodegradation is expected in water and sediment simulation testing.

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Additional information

There are no experimental data available on the Leucophor 1111X, nevertheless a field study at a full-scale STP on the analogous substance 04 gave no evidence of biodegradation when the mass flow was monitored (Poiger, 1994. IUCLID section 5.5.2).

Monitoring of analogous substance 04 in lake sediment was done in the study of lake Greifensee (see IUCLID section 5.5.1). The analysis of a sediment core showed a maximum concentration of 1.2 mg test item/kg sediment in the 1970’s and levelled out at 0.7 mg test item/kg sediment from 1983 onward. Analysis of 13 samples from sediment traps in depths of 10 and 30 m had concentrations ranging from 170 to 2200 μg/kg sediment with an average of 870 μg/kg and a median of 825 μg/kg sediment [2].

Leucophor 1111X is a Stilbene Fluorescent Whitening Agent (SFWA), 4,4’-bis(1,3,5-triazinyl-2-yl)amino)stilbene-2,2’-disulfonic acid (DAS) derivative. This class of substances have been available since 1941 and remain the most important class of optical brighteners in terms of quantity [1]. Extensive work has been done to characterize aquatic toxicity and photo- and biodegradation: many data are available in the contexts of IUCLID dataset, OECD SIDS, HPV, HERA projects and some DAS derivatives have been registered under the REACH Regulation. In general, they are considered as not significantly biodegradable.

It is assumed that Leucophor 1111X is not biodegradable in simulation tests either.

Further biotic degradation testing shall be proposed only if the Chemical Safety Assessment according to Annex I indicates the need to investigate further degradation of the substance and its degradation products. Based on the Chemical Safety Assessment the exposure of sediment and soil results to be negligible, since the substance and its formulations are produced and used in plants equipped with industrial STP which filter the waste waters before discharging in the municipal net. There are no direct releases involving air and soil compartments. No further tests on biodegradation are proposed.


[1] AAVV 2003. Industrial dyes. Chemistry, Properties, Applications. Edited by Klaus Hunger. Wiley-vch.

[2] Stoll Jean-Marc 1997.Fluorescent Whitening Agents in Natural Waters; Dissertation ETH No.12355; Zürich.