On December 7, 2015 the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) announced that its Committee for Socio-economic Assessment (SEAC) has finalized its opinion on the restriction of bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7) in thermal paper. SEAC concluded that the socio-economic benefits of restricting BPA are “unlikely to be higher than the socio-economic costs.” However, SEAC noted that “a relatively small population with low incomes are at risk – cashiers – whereas the costs of the restriction would be spread across all EU consumers in the EU.” SEAC considers the increased prices due to a restriction affordable to working EU-citizens.

The proposal to restrict BPA in thermal paper was submitted by the French authorities in May 2014. In June 2015, ECHA’s Risk Assessment Committee (RAC) concluded that the risk for workers handling thermal paper is not adequately controlled and RAC thus supports the restriction proposal (FPF reported). ECHA will now forward the RAC and SEAC opinions to the European Commission as a scientific basis for the ultimate decision on restriction of BPA.

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ECHA (December 7, 2015). “ECHA’s committees finalise evaluation of bisphenol A restriction proposal.

Chemistry World (December 14, 2015). “Cost of banning BPA in till receipts outweighs benefits, EU agency concludes.