Europe says bye to BPA
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a synthetic compound that turns black when exposed to heat and is therefore used to coat paper and make it thermally reactive.
The employment of BPA has been questioned by the European Union since 2014 due to its negative effects on health, especially the immune and reproductive system, linked to its hormone-mimicking properties. People who handle thermal paper frequently are thus likely to suffer from estrogen imbalances.
This is the reason why, based on the assessments of the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) and the ECA (European Chemicals Agency), on 12 December 2016 BPA has been added to the REACH candidate list for Substances of Very High Concern.
Both the protection of consumers and the consequences for the paper industry have been taken into account, concluding that "overall the estimated costs outweigh the potential health benefits [...]. However [...] the cost of the restriction [...] would only lead to a very small price increase [...] evenly shared by the wider Union population".
The regulation bans the sale of thermal paper containing BPA in a concentration equal or greater than 0,02% by weight after January 2020.
At present, companies must inform all their customers about the products that contain BPA in a concentration of more than 0,1% by weight.
Tecnocarta has been using BPA-free paper for many years now, especially the following grades:
Paper processing companies like us and paper mills have been long trying to replace BPA completely, but technical obstacles are still to be overcome both in terms of paper production and print quality.
Sure enough Bisphenol S (BPS), which is currently employed as an alternative to BPA, could be just as hazardous as BPA, so there is still quite a long way to go.
We'll keep you updated, so stay tuned!
- The European Commission, "Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/2235 of 12 December 2016", Official Journal of the European Union, p.2 (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32016R2235)
- European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), "Bisphenol A" (http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/topics/topic/bisphenol)
- Science Daily, "Exposure to BPA Substitute, BPS, Multiplies Breast Cancer Cells", 2017 (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170403140605.htm)