Statement on Bisphenol A (BPA)
At Till Rolls Direct we take our leading on-line status very seriously and we are committed to ensuring we keep all our valued customers informed on all important / key developments in the world of paper rolls.
This article has been produced to provide details and information on the regulatory changes on the restriction of Bisphenol A (BPA) which is currently used in the manufacture of Thermal Paper.
Our aim is to provide you with all the information you need to understand when the changes are scheduled to come in to affect and how it affects your business.
The new legislation and timetable for change.
In December 2016, the European Commission published a new regulation restricting the use of Bisphenol A (BPA) in thermal paper in the EU. After 2 January 2020, thermal paper which contains BPA in a concentration equal to or more than 0.02% by weight will be banned from the EU.
The Technical Stuff!
What is Bisphenol A?
Bisphenol A or BPA is a chemical used for the past 50 years to make hard such as polycarbonate and epoxy resins and has been used in the manufacture of a large range of consumer products such as plastic bottles, and the inner coating of tin cans for food as it stops the product adopting a metallic taste, and many other consumer products such as toys, CD’s, DVD’s etc.
Bisphenol A or BPA is also used as a dye developer in the manufacture of thermal paper which is converted in to paper rolls for use in cash registers, tills, EPOS Systems, Credit Card Terminals, PDQ Machines, and Chip and Pin Machines.
How does Bisphenol A (BPA) work in Thermal Paper?
Bisphenol A (BPA) was scientifically developed to act as a dye developer in a coating on thermal paper The chemical has heat resistant qualities that allow a stable image to be produced when it is exposed to a heat source as used in the thermal printing process. When it has heat applied It has all the properties required to ensure that the thermal paper changes colour safely without igniting.
This development was the key driver in the pursuit of cheaper and more efficient printing options across many applications including that of EPOS systems, tills, cash registers, credit card terminals, PDQ Machines, chip and pin machines and Fax machines. Modern thermal printers are more cost effective as they have fewer printer parts and do not need as many consumables to operate them such as ribbons and ink cartridges etc. Thermal Printing is also quicker than traditional dot matrix and action printers and produces a higher quality print image than other receipt printing options as it has minimal bleeding and deep blacks for high legibility.
How does thermal printing work?
Why is Bisphenol A (BPA) being banned?
Scientific studies carried out by a few government bodies report findings that that BPA has several possible health effects to humans. These include endocrine disrupting properties which affect a person’s reproductive capabilities.
In 2015, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published an opinion that concluded on a lower Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI), which triggers the lowering of the specific migration limit (SML) of BPA into the food set out in the EU legislation. EFSA however stated that BPA poses no health risk to consumers of any age group from current levels of dietary exposure and poses a low health concern for consumers from all sources, including than found in thermal till roll and credit card roll receipt paper.
Are the levels of Bisphenol A (BPA) in Thermal Paper a significant Health Risk?
Studies carried out revel the relatively small levels of Bisphenol A (BPA) used in the production of Thermal Paper Rolls do not pose a significant risk to people handling thermal paper receipts as part of their daily job activity.
Indeed, it is very unlikely that a person who handles thermal paper throughout their workday would be exposed to the large levels / quantities of BPA required then to be considered anywhere near toxic.
An in-depth scientific study conducted by Springer Verlag concluded that a person who handles receipt paper for up to ten hours per day is exposed to approx. 71 μg of BPA in an average working day. This level / amount is 42 times less than the tolerable daily intake (TDI), or the estimated amount of BPA a person can be exposed to daily throughout their lifetime without a significant health risk. This study focused on people who use receipt paper extremely frequently, so most people are exposed to far lower amounts of BPA from receipt paper.
A copy of the Springer Verlag article can be found on the following link:
So, what is the Paper Roll Industry doing?
There are several alternative products available in the market place the most common choice at present for BPA-free receipt paper is a type that contains bisphenol S (BPS) as a step change towards a totally BPA free product.
Other BPA free receipt paper alternatives that are available today use a urea-based compound and vitamin C both of which are BPA and BPS free and at the time of writing this article all of the alternative types of BPA free thermal cost far more than BPA/BPS coated paper and have inferior print quality and appearance.
Till Rolls Direct is already working closely with the manufacturers if Thermal Paper and Paper Roll Manufacturers to assist in the ongoing development of cost-efficient alternatives. There is no doubt these changes will take time to effect as manufacturers and roll producers invest to test products and change their manufacturing equipment and processes to meet the 2020 deadline.
What do businesses need to do?
The key message we can give you is that from all the studies produced it is perfectly safe to continue using thermal paper rolls in your tills, cash registers, EPOS Systems, credit card terminals, PDQ Machines and Chip & Pin Machines, fax machines, and ATM’s.
We, in turn, will ensure we keep our customers fully updated and informed with any developments relating to this matter, we trust the information we have provided has been informative and has hopefully answered any questions you may have had and allayed any concerns or fears over the use of thermal paper rolls.
Should you have any questions or would like more information on this or any other matter please do not hesitate to contact us and talk to one of our friendly help desk staff.