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Statement on RAC opinion on BPA in thermal paper

ECHA´s Risk Assessment Committee (RAC) confirms no risk for consumers from
handling thermal paper containing BPA
At the same time, RAC supports to restrict the use of BPA in thermal paper to reduce
risk for cashiers – Opinion presumably the result of a highly conservative approach
Opinion on socio-economic impact expected end of 2015
RAC states unequivocally: “Significantly, RAC did not identify a risk for consumers.” This finding is
consistent with the EFSA opinion on BPA (January 2015). Nevertheless, the RAC proposed that the
use of BPA in thermal paper for cashiers handling point of sale tickets and cash slips should be
“We welcome to see RAC clearly stating that there is no risk for consumers from handling thermal
paper containing BPA. EFSA had reached a similar conclusion in its opinion on the safety of BPA
published in January of this year”, said Jasmin Bird of the PC/BPA-group. “We also note RAC´s
opinion supporting to restrict BPA in thermal paper for professional use. Currently, the report that is
the basis for this opinion is not yet published. As soon as available, we will assess the full RAC opinion
in detail. Based on current scientific evidence we assume that the opinion was based on a highly
conservative approach, taking into account all uncertainties and worst case exposure data for risk
Following on from the RAC opinion, ECHA´s Socio-Economic Analysis Committee (SEAC) has to
evaluate the pros and cons of the restriction for society. The committee analyses the health and
environmental benefits, the associated costs and other socio-economic impacts of the restriction.
ECHA expects the final SEAC opinion on the socio-economic impact of the restriction in December

  1. A SEAC draft opinion has to be made available for public consultation beforehand. The two
    opinions of the ECHA Committees will then contribute to the decision of the European Commission,
    which will be decisive for starting the process to transport a restriction into EU legislation.

Already early 2015, the BPA REACH Consortium, which represents leading manufacturers/ importers
of BPA, had dropped the thermal paper use from the joint dossier as a consequence of detailed
requests for additional data in the evaluation of the substance under the Community Rolling Action
Program (Corap) and lack of sufficient expertise on the life cycle of thermal paper that would have
been needed to fulfill the requests. ( ).

For more information:
Jasmin Bird
PC/BPA-Group PlasticsEurope
Tel: +32 2 676 17 38