Survey and risk assessment of developers in thermal paper

This report provides a description of results of a survey and a screening of substances in thermal paper, migration from thermal paper and the potential risk in one specific exposure scenario for three different applications of thermal paper with each of their different developer.

Survey of chemical substances in consumer products No. 178, 2019

In December 2016, the European Commission decided to restrict the usage of the developer bisphenol A (BPA) in thermal paper to max. 0.02 weight percentage; a restriction that comes into force in January 2020. The aim of this survey is, thus, to assess the development of developer usage and to collect information on which alternative developers are in use in thermal paper on the Danish market, the contents and migration of developers from selected applications of thermal paper as well as risk assessment of developers in these applications.

Screening analysis have been made of six developers; BPA, BPS, BPS-MAE, TGSA, Pergafast and D-8. After that, migration analyses for the primary developer i six selected samples. The health-related risk of TGSA, D-8 and BPS by migration was calculated in each of their own scenarios.

The report point out, that the data used for the assessments is limited, and that there are uncertainties in both exposure estimates and DNEL calculations, which does not provide a foundation for representative risk assessment conclusions on the usage of thermal paper.

The increased knowledge about the harmful effects of BPS strengthens the assumption of BPS having harmful effects similar to those of BPA. The use of alternatives with allergenic properties may be considered worrying in products with skin contact, since the migration risk must be considered problematic.

This report indicates that increased and more systematic knowledge of the harmful effects of the alternative substances and their migration from point-of-sales receipts is needed to obtain a basis for more accurate risk assessments.

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