DfE Releases Draft Report “Bisphenol A (BPA) Alternatives in Thermal Paper” for Public Comment


Source: EPA
Related Topics: Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) US Environmental Protection Agency

The US EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) Program is pleased to release the following draft report for public comment: "Bisphenol A (BPA) Alternatives in Thermal Paper," available at

This draft report is an assessment of 19 chemical alternatives that may substitute for BPA, which is used as a developer in thermal paper. EPA conducted the alternatives assessment through the DfE Alternatives Assessment Program to help identify substitutes for BPA and to inform and encourage safer chemical formulations. In addition to the hazard profiles for 19 alternatives to BPA in thermal paper, this report provides background information about how thermal paper is made, and considerations for choosing an alternative. A chemical’s inclusion in the report does not constitute EPA endorsement.   This draft report does not identify functional chemicals with low concern for all human health and environmental hazard endpoints; all of the alternatives are associated with some trade-offs.

In 2010 EPA issued an action plan for bisphenol A (BPA) under its enhanced chemical management program ( The action plan included a multi-stakeholder alternatives assessment for BPA in thermal paper to be conducted by EPA's Design for the Environment (DfE) Program. BPA is used as a developer in conjunction with other chemicals to make thermal paper, which is used widely for cash register receipts, airline tickets, event and cinema tickets, and grocery store adhesive labels. Paper coatings are not a major use of BPA, but thermal paper has been reported to contain free BPA, which would be expected to be more available for exposure than BPA bound into resin or plastic.

DfE works to advance EPA's mission to protect human health and the environment via the Safer Product Labeling and Alternatives Assessment Programs. Through DfE's Safer Product Labeling Program more than 2,800 products, meeting DfE's stringent health and safety criteria, are qualified to carry the DfE label. The DfE Alternatives Assessment Program helps stakeholders identify and choose safer chemicals and offers a basis for informed decision-making by providing a comparison of the potential human health and environmental effects of chemical alternatives. For more information about the DfE Alternatives Assessment Program, see

DfE will be accepting comments on this report through October 1, 2012. Please direct comments and questions to Cal Baier-Anderson, project lead, at

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