Dynamics of bisphenol A (BPA) and bisphenol S (BPS) in the European paper cycle: Need for concern?

Research output: Research - peer-reviewJournal article – Annual report year: 2018

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Bisphenol A (BPA) is an industrial chemical used as an additive in conventional point-of-sale thermal paper receipts. Due to BPA being an endocrine disruptor and a substance of very high concern, the European Union (EU) has proposed to ban its use in thermal paper from 2020. Potential similarities in toxicological profiles have raised concerns that the use of bisphenol S (BPS) as a substitute for BPA may result in yet another situation of a problematic chemical being distributed in consumer products. This study provides a comprehensive evaluation of the current knowledge of BPA and BPS use in thermal paper and, based on dynamic material and substance flow modeling, quantifies potential effects of the BPA ban on future BPA and BPS flows within the European paper cycle. Based on available data and the modeling of BPA and BPS flows, approximately 200 t of BPS are estimated to be present in the current European paper cycle. The modeling further demonstrated that by substituting 50% of BPA, BPS amounts in the European paper cycle would increase more than fivefold over a modeling period of 60 years. In the same time, more than 90 t of BPA would still be circulated in European paper products. BPA alternatives other than BPS should receive additional attention, as very limited quantitative data currently exist. The results of this study quantitatively demonstrate that chemical bans alone are not sufficient to ensure clean material cycles, and so the effective regulation of potential substitutes needs to be implemented in parallel.
Original languageEnglish
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Pages (from-to)278-287
StatePublished - 2018
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 1

    Research areas

  • Chemical contamination, Circular economy, Dynamic MFA, EDCs, Material recycling, Substance flow analysis
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ID: 145407000