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Sci Total Environ. 2012 Oct 1;435-436:30-3. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.07.001. Epub 2012 Jul 28.

Levels of bisphenol-A in thermal paper receipts from Belgium and estimation of human exposure.

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  • 1Toxicological Centre, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, Antwerp, Belgium.


Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a commonly used color developer in thermal paper. In this application, BPA is present in its free, unbound form and can be readily released, making thermal paper a potential source for human exposure. In this study, BPA was determined in 44 thermal paper samples collected in Belgium. BPA was detected in all the samples; 73% of the samples had concentrations between 0.9% and 2.1% (between 9 and 21 mg BPA/g paper), while the remaining 27% of the samples had concentrations below 0.01% (0.1mg BPA/g paper). The BPA concentrations measured in thermal paper were comparable with those reported in other international studies. Since thermal paper is a feedstock for paper recycling processes, contamination of other "BPA-free" papers can occur. An estimation of human exposure through thermal paper results in a median intake of 445 ng BPA/day for the general population, which corresponds to an exposure of 6.4 ng/kg bw/day for a person of 70 kg. The exposure of those people who come occupationally in contact with thermal paper can be much higher.

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