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Results of bisphenol A (BPA) restriction proposal in thermal paper

The Committee for Socio-economic Assessment of ECHA has determined that the benefits of restricting bisphenol A in thermal paper are going to be less than the socio-economic costs and they also add some restrictions that shall be checked. Moreover, the Committee for Risk Assessment have noted a possible risk for workers handling thermal paper.

Last 3 December 2015, ECHA’s Committee for Socio-economic Assessment had the results about bisphenol A (BPA) restriction proposal in thermal paper, concluding that it is affordable.

This restriction was proposed and revised since it was necessary to know if the benefits in thermal paper are unlikely to be higher than the socio-economic costs of the proposal. Other considerations, such as the risk on consumers and people in contact with thermal paper was taken into account, too.

The French authorities were the first on proposing BPA’s restriction since there were possible risks for pregnant workers and people exposed to thermal paper, mainly cashiers. This exposure may affect female body parts, such as the mammary glands or cause general metabolism, reproduction and neuro-behaviour damages.

There have been some stages until the final conclusion. The first one happened on May 2014, when this French authorities alerted to the health risk for pregnant workers. In September 2015, the Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) had a first conclusion: it was not adequately controlled, but there was not risk for consumers. And finally, on 3 December 2015, we have had the final result. Only people in contact with the material are at risk and the costs of this restriction would be spread across all the EU consumers. If the restriction costs turn out to increase prices, the amount per working EU person would be only about €0.20 – €0.60 per person per year, which is affordable according the SEAC.