Today the Swedish Chemicals Agency (KemI) presented a proposal to the Swedish Government for a national ban on bisphenol A in thermal paper used, for example, in cash receipts and tickets. The report is the result of a government assignment and one step in the work for a toxic-free everyday environment.
Bisphenol A is a component in plastic and can also be found in the surface layer of certain receipts and paper tickets.
In studies with BPA, the substance has demonstrated to have hormone disrupting effects also at very low doses. Since 2011 BPA is banned in baby bottles within the EU.
-There are few studies showing how large the exposure to bisphenol A is from receipts and tickets, but the exposure cannot be considered to be adequately controlled in terms of the risk that BPA may pose to the unborn child, says Sten-Åke Svensson at the Swedish Chemicals Agency.
With the support of the precautionary principle KemI therefore is of the opinion that a national ban on bisphenol A in thermal paper could be introduced. Above all, to protect the unborn child.
The precautionary principle is an established EU concept, which can be applied when there is well-founded suspicion that something is hazardous or causes a particular harm to human health or the environment.
KemI's assessment is that a national regulation of bisphenol A in thermal paper would not affect the obligations of Sweden´s membership of the EU, but that a national regulation is within the area where the individual member states have the right to impose measures.
The Government assignment
In April 2012, the Swedish Government assigned KemI with the task to develop a proposal to ban bisphenol A in thermal paper, since it had not been established that the use is safe and that the precautionary principle should thus be applied. The assignment was also to identify what kinds of thermal paper could replace paper with bisphenol A, and any possible health or environmental hazard of alternatives.