CAP: Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals found in erasers and thermal papers

The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) calls on the authorities to regulate Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) in products sold in the country.

The call is made in view of tests conducted on erasers and thermal papers from Malaysia.

The erasers were bought from popular outlets in Penang. Most of the erasers were made in China. Some of the erasers had fanciful features (like funny shapes, cartoon characters and fruity smells) which could attract children to put them into their mouths.  The thermal papers were collected from various public places such as hospitals, post offices and retail outlets including supermarkets, convenience stores, global and local franchise stores.

Out of 44 samples of thermal papers submitted from Malaysia, 27 were found to contain (Bisphenol A) BPA and 13 samples (Bisphenol S) BPS. In the study on erasers, out of 40 samples that were tested, phthalates were detected in 26 of them.

Presently in Malaysia, there are no standards for BPA analogues (or derivatives) in thermal papers and phthalates in erasers.

The study was done with the assistance of the Wonjin Institute for Occupational and Environmental Health (WIOEH), with support from the Financial Industry Public Interest Foundation (FIPIF), both in Korea.

The Foundation and the Institute co-organized the EDC-free Asia Conference on March 31, 2022, to publicize the results of tests for the presence of EDC in erasers and thermal papers. They highlighted the dangers of the products with toxic EDCs to children and the public.  They also called on the governments to enact laws in different Asian countries to protect their citizens. Such laws are already enacted in Korea and some European countries.

The conference was participated by non-government organizations (NGOs) including CAP in Malaysia and others from Indonesia, Vietnam, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Philippines, Japan and Korea. The NGOs are part of the organisations in the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN), a global network working for a toxics-free world.

According to the report, “Plastics, EDCs, and Health” published by the Endocrine Society and IPEN, “EDCs are linked to neurological and behavioral disorders, obesity and metabolic dysfunction, reproductive disorders, and hormone-sensitive cancers,” noting that “the production and use of phthalates is a public health concern because several phthalates have been identified as EDCs.”

Experts have warned that EDC exposure and effects can occur at very low doses, below an established regulatory threshold, implying there is likely no ‘safe’ dose of an EDC.

Jitka Strakovà, IPEN researcher raised the alarm that BPA is still in widespread use as it is only banned in a few products in some countries. What’s even more concerning is the increasing use of similar bisphenols which threaten human health and the environment.

Strakovà added we need to prioritize the elimination of EDCs that affect the most vulnerable, particularly women of childbearing age, the unborn fetus, and children.

In view of the health effects associated with EDCs, CAP calls on the authorities to regulate Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) in products sold in the country. Many countries have already regulated these dangerous chemicals many years ago.


Mohideen Abdul Kader
Consumers Association of Penang

Press Statement, 26th April 2022

Please donate at