German Group Urges Ban on BPA-coated Receipts
Germany’s Friends of the Earth affiliate, BUND, has appealed to producers of thermal paper cashier receipts to replace the controversial chemicals bisphenol A (BPA) and bisphenol S in their products with less dangerous substances. It has also called on the European Commission to finally ban the use of the chemicals in all types of receipts. The Commission is in the process of reviewing ECHA’s recommendation after a report by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) last year did not see significant risks.
Raising the issue again at the Drupa 2016 printing industry exhibition in Düsseldorf, Germany, the environmental advocacy group said tests with thermal paper applications such as cashier receipts, public transport tickets and baggage labels had turned up excessive concentrations of both BPA and BPS.
In 14 of 19 such products sold in Germany, BUND said it found traces of BPA and BPS, with the highest concentrations seen in receipts from the gasoline stations operated by Shell and Aral or handed out by the drugstore chain Rossmann and the movie theater chain Cinestar.
The Risk Assessment Committee (RAC) of ECHA, the European agency that administrates REACH, has already thrown its weight behind a French proposal to restrict BPA, saying the handling of the receipt paper is “not adequately controlled” and thus presents a health risk to the unborn children of pregnant retail workers as well as shoppers. In calling for a phase-out of BPA-coated receipts, BUND accused the Commission of “carelessly endangering” the health of EU citizens.