Annex XVII of the REACH Regulation now lists Bisphenol A (BPA), and its use in thermal paper has been banned. That’s the decision the Regulatory Committee of the EU Commission made after the French requested limiting the use of BPA as early as 2014.
The prohibition affects thermal paper that contains BPA in a concentration of 0.02 or higher by weight. The regulation will be approved shortly and go into effect in three years.
BPA is used in thermal paper as an ink developer and enters the body through the skin. The substance is considered reprotoxic and affects the nervous system and the mammary glands and it promotes obesity. According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), foodstuffs (oral) and thermal paper (dermatological) are the primary sources of exposure to Bisphenol A.
BPA is still being used on a large scale. That’s the finding of a study commissioned by a Germany environmental group BUND (Friends of the Earth Germany). The study found BPA and a substitute, Bisphenol S, in 14 of the 19 samples it examined. The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung) has published a helpful list of questions and answers on Bisphenol A.
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