Moving towards safer alternatives

Subsport - Substitution Support Portal

164-EN, General section

A potential alternative to the use of Bisphenol A as a colour developer in thermal paper.


The Jegrelius Institute initiated a project in 2011 which was aimed at evaluating several alternatives to Bisphenol A (BPA) used as a colour developer in thermal paper that was being supplied by companies. One part of the project was to investigate what compound companies used instead of BPA in paper manufactured as bisphenol-free. After the project one likely candidate which was not a bisphenol-type compound was identified; Pergafast 201.

Substituted substance(s)

  1. Bisphenol A

    CAS No. 80-05-7 EC No. 201-245-8 Index No. 604-030-00-0

Alternative substance(s)

  1. Pergafast 201

    CAS No. 232938-43-1 EC No. 432-520-2 Index No. 006-099-00-7

Other type of alternative

Reliability of information

Evidence of implementation: there is evidence that the solution was implemented and in use at time of publication

Hazard assessment

Bisphenol A is classified as R37, R41, R43, R62 and R52, showing many signs of potential damage to human health. Pergafast 201 is at the moment only classified as R51/53, it should however be pointed out that Pergafast 201 has not been as extensively examined as Bisphenol A.

» Check the Substance Database according to SUBSPORT Screening Criteria (SDSC)

Top of page

Substitution description

During the fall of 2010, the Jegrelius Institute published a report about the presence of Bisphenol A in receipts. The report stated that the high levels of BPA in receipts might pose a health hazard for cashiers and similar people who are handling many receipts daily. One of the companies whose receipts were found to include high amounts of BPA was a regional transportation company. The company reacted and substituted their receipts to a bisphenol-free option. The Jegrelius Institute were then contacted and asked to evaluate these new kinds of receipts to determine whether they were a better option from a health and environmental aspect.

Since the specifics about which compound was actually present in the receipts instead of BPA was confidential, Jegrelius first approach was to investigate what substance could be present in the receipts instead of BPA. They did this via a market analysis where they identified all available alternatives listed by the EPA initiative; BPA Alternatives in Thermal Paper Partnership. From this list they identified one substance which seems to be produced by a number of companies and which corresponds to the small amounts of information Jegrelius managed to extract from the producer of the bisphenol-free paper. This compound, which in other words probably is the bisphenol alternative marketed by a number of companies is the substance N-(p-toluenesulfonyl)-N’-(3-(p-toluenesulfonyloxy)phenyl)urea 3-({[(4-methylphenyl)sulfonyl]carbamoyl}amino)phenyl 4-methylbenzenesulfonate, or as it is more commonly called: Pergafast 201. It is the only reasonable alternative that seems to be manufactured in large scale and which is not just another kind of bisphenol (like Bisphenol S).

Pergafast 201 is a known working alternative to BPA as stated by both the American EPA and the Australian Department of Health and Agening. It is classified as R51/53 which means: toxic to aquatic organisms, may cause long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment, it is also not easily degraded in the environment. Pergafast 201 does however seem to be a better alternative than BPA since it does not show any PBT or vPvB properties. Its health effects have not been studied as intensively as BPA´s but the tests that have been made did not give rise to any risk phrases.

Top of page

Case/substitution evaluation

Bisphenol A is classified as a potential sensitizer and an endocrine disruptor. Even though the amounts of Bisphenol A on each receipt is relatively small, a person like a cashier who is handling a lot of receipts every day could be affected in a negative way due to the exposure. The alternative, Pergafast 201, carries none of the classifications associated with health hazards to humans; it could however be dangerous if released into the aquatic environment.
Due to how receipts are handled, most of them will probably not reach the aquatic environment and this is therefore considered an acceptable risk.

Top of page

Other solutions

Further information

Further languages available

Originally in Swedish

Who provided the information

Type of information supplier


Jegreliusinstitutet för tillämpad Grön Kemi
Studiegången 3, Hus M
831 40 Östersund

Publication source

Authors: Thomas Östberg and Lena Stigh
Company: Jegrelius Institute for Applied Green Chemistry
Year: 2011

Type of publication and availability 

Archived copy: click here

Comments from SUBSPORT users

Top of page

Publication or last update: 23.04.2012