Image credit Appleton
I recently quoted from Dominique Browning's article in the New York Times about substitutes for Bisphenol A. Browning suggested that Appleton's BPA free thermal paper was made with a substitute, Bisphenol S, that was not yet sufficiently tested and that, in "a few, limited tests," showed "estrogenic activity -- not as strong as BPA, but not a good sign." I asked Appleton for their response, which they promptly provided.
Bill Van Den Brandt, Manager, Corporate Communications, writes: (edited for brevity)
Appleton dropped BPA from its thermal paper formulations in 2006 after toxicology reports and available studies revealed growing concerns about the safety of that chemical. After surveying the available data on a variety of substitutes, we replaced BPA with 4-hydroxyphenyl sulfone (sometimes called BPS), a member of a family of thermal developers that can generally be referred to as diphenylsulfones. They are chemically and structurally different than BPA.
....We have reviewed the scientific literature about the toxicology of thermal developers and have concluded that 4-hydroxyphenyl sulfone is a better choice than BPA for overall product safety. Outside expert opinion supports our conclusions.
....Appleton is actively participating in the EPA's Design for the Environment (DfE) partnership program. Through DfE, multiple stakeholders - including manufacturers, retailers, public interest groups and regulators - are engaged in evaluating safer alternatives to BPA for use in thermal paper. As part of our half-decade long commitment to producing BPA-free thermal paper, we welcome this safety review of 4-hydroxyphenyl sulfone and other potential BPA substitutes.
Mr. Van Den Brant also notes that much of this information is available in a fact sheet that they issued in November; you can download it here: Red Fiber Media Fact Sheet.docx.
More on Bisphenol A and thermal paper:
Get Bisphenol A Out of the Grocery Store (Are You Listening, Whole Foods?)
More Than You Paid For: BPA Found in Cash Register Receipts
For BPA, Exposure Matters; Handling Receipts and Eating Canned Foods Pose Greatest Danger
High Levels Of BPA Found In Cash Register Receipts, What You Can Do To Protect Yourself