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Press Release 1/97

No carcinogenic amines found in
the wastepaper bleaching process

INGEDE study disproves Greenpeace allegations

Contrary to an allegation made by Greenpeace activist Manfred Krautter, no carcinogenic aromatic amines develop during paper recycling. In a radio interview given last year, Krautter had claimed that the pigments used in yellow printing ink were partly converted into aromatic amines during bleaching in the course of wastepaper recycling.

Krautter’s allegation was based on a study by the Hamburg EPEA Umweltinstitut (a private operated environmental institute) commissioned by Greenpeace, but this study was not released so far. Krautter assumed that "this way, an estimated 600 metric tons of these carcinogenic substances are released into the environment each year"*.

Comprehensive examinations subsequently commissioned by INGEDE together with the Verband der Druckfarbenindustrie (Association of Printing Ink Industry) and the VCI** Special Committee on dyes and Organic Pigments revealed that actually the reactions to aromatic amines did not occur as predicted by Greenpeace. Relevant quantities of these substances could not be found in wastepaper.

Inquiries addressed to Greenpeace revealed that no study confirming the original allegation is available so far and that these were just projections based on theoretically possible chemical reactions.

INGEDE is an association of leading European paper manufacturers aiming at promoting utilization of wastepaper and improving the conditions for an extended use of wastepaper.

* the complete interview is to be found (in German) on a separate page–click here

**Verband der Chemischen lndustrie (Association of the German Chemical lndustry)

September 12, 1997

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Last update: Sept 24, 1997