Bisphenol A and receipts

Many, possibly all, thermal printing techniques use bisphenol A.

Bisphenol A has clearly been identified as an endocrine disruptor and much work has already taken place to eliminate it from some of the worst places it was found such as baby feeding bottles.

I realised recently quite how many thermally printed receipts I have - often stuffed into a pocket and, potentially, leaching into me. So I emailed a major supermarket to try to ascertain what is happening. Although they took a little while to respond, they have now done so. Happily, it looks as if they are going in the right direction.

Thank you for your patience whilst we were looking into this matter. We have now received further information.

Although there has been considerable recent debate about the continuing use of Bisphenol A as a developer in thermal paper, there appears to have been a distinct lack of scientifically robust evidence to prove the arguments either way. Accordingly, after the latest review of the available scientific evidence, the EC adopted a precautionary approach and has decided to restrict the use of Bisphenol A in thermal paper because of the uncertainties of longer term occupational exposure at higher levels. However, the same EC review of the available studies on Bisphenol A concluded that the evidence did not support the need for a restriction on the grounds that Bisphenol A was a risk to consumers.

We note that your enquiry relates to any form of Bisphenol rather than just Bisphenol A, which is the main subject of the current discussion. Please be assured that, given the uncertainty, we support a precautionary approach and intend to phase out thermal paper which uses any form of Bisphenol at the earliest opportunity, ahead of the proposed restriction on Bisphenol A. To that end, we have already assessed alternative thermal printing systems which do not use any Bisphenol and commissioned an independent expert toxicological review to ensure that there are no similar concerns with them.

I hope that information comes in useful. Please let us know if there's anything else which we would be able to assist with.

Kind regards

<named person>

Tesco Customer Service

Tesco Customer Engagement Centre

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2 Replies

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  • Dear hellvella, time and time again you post interesting, balanced and relevant information. I always perk up my attention when I see you have posted or commented. Thank you for your tenacious contributions.

  • Such a lovely reply helvella. So different from the ones we usually get from the medical companies.

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