Endocrine activity of alternatives to BPA found in thermal paper in Switzerland

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Alternatives to bisphenol A (BPA) are more and more used in thermal paper receipts. To get an overview of the situation in Switzerland, 124 thermal paper receipts were collected and analyzed. Whereas BPA was detected in most samples (n = 100), some alternatives, namely bisphenol S (BPS), Pergafast® 201 and D-8 have been found in 4, 11 and 9 samples respectively. As no or few data on their endocrine activity are available, these chemicals and bisphenol F (BPF) were tested in vitro using the H295R steroidogenesis assay. 17β-Estradiol production was induced by BPA and BPF, whereas free testosterone production was inhibited by BPA and BPS. Both non-bisphenol substances did not show significant effects. The binding affinity to 16 proteins and the toxicological potential (TP) were further calculated in silico using VirtualToxLab™. TP values lay between 0.269 and 0.476 and the main target was the estrogen receptor β (84.4 nM to 1.33 μM). A substitution of BPA by BPF and BPS should be thus considered with caution, since they exhibit almost a similar endocrine activity as BPA. D-8 and Pergafast® 201 could be alternatives to replace BPA, however further analyses are needed to better characterize their effects on the hormonal system.

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