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BPA Dropped from Appleton’s Thermal Paper Formulation

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Appleton, Appleton, Wis., USA, the largest U.S. producer of thermal paper (the type used in cash register and credit card receipts) reported this week that it is no longer using the controversial ingredient, bisphenol A (BPA), in the production of this grade of paper. The company made the statement in the wake of an independent report issued by the Environmental Working Group that found high levels of BPA in 40% of receipts sampled from major U.S. businesses and services. Appleton notes that it dropped BPA from its thermal paper formulation in 2006 due to growing concerns about the safety of the chemical.

"After reviewing toxicology reports and available studies, we concluded removing BPA from our thermal products was the responsible thing to do," said Kent Willetts, Appleton's VP of strategic development. "We are committed to actively managing the safety of all our products."

In Jan. 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that recent studies provide reasons for concern about the potential adverse health effects of BPA in infants and children, especially for applications with direct contact to food. BPA bans are in place in Japan, Canada, and a growing number of U.S. states, and Congress is considering a federal ban on BPA in all food and beverage containers.

Appleton representatives participate in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's partnership program Design for the Environment, which involves multi-stakeholder alternative assessments to help reduce environmental releases of and subsequent exposure to BPA. The first assessment focuses on finding safer alternatives to BPA for use as a developer for dyes in thermal paper. Appleton creates product solutions through its development and use of coating formulations, coating applications, and Encapsys microencapsulation technology.

Appleton produces carbonless, thermal, and security papers, and Encapsys products. The 100% employee-owned company has manufacturing facilities in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and employs approximately 2,000 people.