Thursday, August 2, 2012

EPA Issues Analysis of Alternatives for Bisphenol A (BPA) Uses

The USEPA has issued a draft analysis of alternative chemicals that can be used instead of Bisphenol A (BPA) in thermal paper. According to EPA's Design for the Environmenet (DfE) program:

This draft report is an assessment of 19 chemical alternatives that may substitute for BPA, which is used as a developer in thermal paper. In addition, this report provides background information about how thermal paper is made, and considerations for choosing an alternative. A chemical's inclusion in the report does not constitute EPA endorsement. This draft report does not identify functional chemicals with low concern for all human health and environmental hazard endpoints; all of the alternatives are associated with some trade-offs.

The focus on thermal paper is because it "is widely used for cash register receipts, airline tickets, event and cinema tickets, and grocery store adhesive labels" and because this narrow focus was one area where alternatives exist. In addition, "workers in certain occupations, such as cashiers and restaurant servers who handle thermal paper often, may be at greater risk of exposure." Young children and teenagers entering the workforce may have especially high exposures. Concerns for BPA exposure include endocrine disruption and neurological changes.

The full 492-page PDF can be viewed or downloaded here.

The draft analysis can also be read online as smaller files here.

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