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The Hidden Danger in Your Pocket: Could Thermal Paper Rolls Be Harming Your Health?

Updated: Feb 14, 2023

Thermal paper rolls are used in a wide variety of applications, from cash registers to point-of-sale systems, and even medical devices. However, these ubiquitous rolls of paper may be causing health concerns due to the presence of bisphenol A (BPA).

BPA is a chemical used in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. It has been linked to a variety of health problems, including developmental and reproductive issues, diabetes, and cancer. While BPA has been phased out of many products, it is still commonly used in the production of thermal paper.





When thermal paper is exposed to heat, it reacts with the chemicals on the paper to produce an image. This process relies on the presence of BPA in the paper, which acts as a developer. When the paper is heated, BPA is released, potentially exposing individuals to the chemical.


One of the most common sizes of thermal paper rolls is 2 1/4 x 65 feet. These rolls are commonly used in cash registers and point-of-sale systems. However, they are also used in other applications, such as parking meters and medical devices. This widespread use means that many individuals may be exposed to BPA on a daily basis without realizing it.


In addition to 2 1/4 x 65 feet rolls, there are also 2 1/4 x 30 feet rolls available. These rolls are commonly used in credit card terminals and other small devices. While these rolls are smaller in size, they still contain BPA and may pose a risk to individuals.

The potential health risks associated with BPA exposure from thermal paper rolls have been the subject of much debate. While some studies have suggested a link between BPA exposure and health issues, others have not found a significant association.


Despite this, many organizations are taking steps to reduce BPA exposure from thermal paper rolls. In the United States, the FDA has recommended that consumers take steps to reduce their exposure to BPA, including avoiding contact with thermal paper. Many companies have also started using BPA-free thermal paper in an effort to reduce the potential health risks.


However, BPA-free thermal paper may not be a perfect solution. Some studies have suggested that BPA alternatives, such as bisphenol S (BPS), may also have negative health effects. This means that it may be difficult to completely eliminate the potential risks associated with thermal paper.


In response to these concerns, some individuals and organizations are calling for a ban on BPA in thermal paper rolls. This would require manufacturers to find alternative methods for producing thermal paper, which could be a difficult and costly process.

Despite the controversy surrounding BPA in thermal paper, it is clear that more research is needed to fully understand the potential health risks. In the meantime, consumers can take steps to reduce their exposure to BPA by avoiding contact with thermal paper whenever possible.


In conclusion, the presence of BPA in thermal paper rolls is a growing concern for many individuals and organizations. While more research is needed to fully understand the potential health risks, it is clear that steps need to be taken to reduce BPA exposure from these ubiquitous rolls of paper. Whether through the use of BPA-free thermal paper or a complete ban on BPA in thermal paper production, it is clear that action needs to be taken to protect public health.

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