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anses

French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety

France's proposal on the restriction of bisphenol A use in thermal paper, prepared by ANSES, is submitted for public consultation by ECHA

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News of 01/09/2014

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a monomer used as a dye developer in the manufacturing of thermal paper which is used for cash register tickets, payment receipts, self-adhesive labels, lottery tickets and fax paper. In April 2013, the Agency presented the results of its risk assessment of bisphenol A for human health related to dietary and environmental exposure and exposure to consumer goods and items. The report identified the potential risks linked to handling thermal paper containing BPA for the unborn children of exposed pregnant women (female cashiers, consumers). Following these results, in May 2013, ANSES was asked to prepare a restriction dossier within the framework of the REACh regulation. The opinion it issued today summarises the restriction proposal provided to the Europeans Chemicals Agency (ECHA). On June 18th of this year, ECHA submitted ANSES's proposal for public consultation on its website for a period of six months.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a substance used as a dye developer in the manufacturing of thermal paper which is used for cash register tickets, payment receipts and fax paper. 
 
In April 2013, ANSES presented the results of its health risk assessment of bisphenol A as well as an inventory of the potential alternatives to use of this substance. The assessment identified the potential risks linked to handling thermal paper containing BPA for the unborn children of exposed pregnant women. Based on this report, in May 2013 ANSES was asked as part of the REACh regulation to prepare a restriction proposal on the use of BPA in thermal papers. All the elements found in the restriction dossier proposed by ANSES are summarised in the opinion it issued today. 
 

ANSES's proposal

In its restriction dossier, ANSES proposes that the concentration in BPA used in the manufacturing of thermal paper not exceed 0.02% by weight. At this concentration, the limit value in fact amounts to a ban on BPA.  
 
In addition, there is currently no standard European-level analysis method for measuring BPA content in thermal paper, although several methods exist for other materials that could be applied to BPA (such as the XP CEN/TS 13130-13:2005-05-01 and NF EN ISO 18857-2:2012-01 methods). 
 
The restriction proposal provides an in-depth analysis of the possible alternatives to BPA in thermal paper, including alternative chemical developers and printing techniques as well as paper-free techniques such as the e-ticket. With regard to alternative dye developers in particular, although BPA substitution in thermal paper has already begun in Europe, ANSES emphasises that due to the uncertainties inherent to their hazard profiles, no other chemicals can currently be recommended as a safe substitute for BPA. Certain other bisphenols in particular may have similar toxic properties.
 
The restriction proposal also contains an extensive socio-economic analysis of the costs and benefits that the proposed restriction would generate, in the form of a detailed assessment of the economic, social and health impacts of the measure on a Europe-wide level. 
 

Public consultation by ECHA through 18 December 2014

This proposal was submitted for public consultation on the website on the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) as of 18 June 2014, for a period of six months. Following the consultation stage, ECHA's Risk Assessment and Socio-Economic Analysis Committees (RAC and SEAC) will deliver a final opinion based on all the available data, which will be sent to the European Commission so that it can decide whether or not to include the proposed restriction in the REACh regulation.