A new study published online on January 17, 2013 and now published in print in this month’s issue of the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives found the bisphenol A (BPA) replacement bisphenol S (BPS) to be hormonally active at low doses (Vinas and Watson 2013). Along with the study the journal published in its March issue a news article by Lindsey Konkel, who argues that the dispersion of BPS via paper products is a reason to be worried. BPS has not only become a widely used replacement of BPA in thermal paper products but is also likely to be transferred from thermal paper into other paper products containing recycled thermal paper. She refers to a study by Kurunthachalam Kannan and colleagues, which found BPS in 81% of the urine samples collected in the United States (Liao et al 2012). The researchers at the New York State Department of Health in Albany state in their article that BPA and BPS are equally problematic in terms of toxicity.

It continues to be unclear how much of BPS is taken up by the body and how it is metabolized. As BPS is mostly used on thermal paper receipts, ingestion is less of an issue than with BPA. However scientists are concerned that it may be dermally absorbed as well as once touched dispersed from the hands onto other products, where it then might come into contact with food.


Konkel, L. (2013). “Thermal reaction: the Spread of Bisphenol S via paper products.” Environ Health Perspect, 121, 3, A76 .

Liao C, et al. (2012). “Bisphenol S in urine from the United States and seven Asian countries: occurrence and human exposures.” Environ Sci Technol 46(12):6860–6866.