News - January 31, 2015

Alternatives for harmful substance in receipt

Rob Ramaker

A harmful substance used in making receipts can be replaced by ‘green’ alternatives. This was the

This was the conclusion drawn by Food & Biobased Research in a literature study commissioned by RIVM [National Institute for Public Health and the Environment].

Many receipts consist of heat-sensitive paper containing bisphenol-A. This compound works as a ‘developer’, causing the ink to become visible when the paper is heated. In our body, however, bisphenol-A has the same effect as the female sex hormone estradiol, which can adversely affect hormonal balance. And this can interfere with embryos in particular.

However, the green economy can provide alternatives. According to Daan van Es, DLO researcher at Food & Biobased Research, biomass contains chemicals such as gallic acid, which can replace bisphenol-A. But fi the economic and practical feasibility has to be investigated.

Van Es is negative about many of the substitutes that have been proposed up to now. They resemble bisphenol-A and would probably have the same adverse effects. ‘That’s putting the cart before the horse,’ Van Es said. ‘I think the only feasible solution is to use completely different materials.’

Photo: Ben Osteen