Tips on Using Chlorine-Free Paper
What Do We Look for in Chlorine-Free Paper?
DO read the labels of paper supplies carefully. The dioxin problem applies to paper we use at home (toilet paper, napkins, feminine hygiene products, paper towels, etc.) and commercially (copying paper, etc.).
DO look for paper that is unbleached, or not bleached with chlorine. Some companies use hydrogen peroxide for bleaching; this is O.K.
Some products may have a label saying, "processed chlorine free" (PCF) or "totally chlorine free" (TCF). Either is fine.
DON’T buy elementally chlorine-free paper. This process uses a different form of chlorine (chlorine dioxide), but the bleaching process still produces dioxins and organochlorines. Some companies try to mislead consumers by saying elementally chlorine-free paper means chlorine-free, which is not true.
When you select a chlorine-free paper for publishing/printing needs, DO put a note on the paper indicating it is chlorine-free to help raise awareness of the issue.
What are the different types of Chlorine-Free Paper?
There are two different kinds of chlorine-free papers, TCF (uses virgin pulp) and PCF (uses recycled pulp):
Totally Chlorine-Free (TCF) paper designation refers to paper that does not use pulp produced with chlorine or chlorine-containing compounds or bleaching agents.
Processed Chlorine-Free (PCF) paper designation refers to recycled paper. All recycled fibers have not been re-bleached with chlorine-containing compounds. Any virgin fibers are totally chlorine-free, i.e. they have not been bleached with chlorine. This particular paper is made with 100% recycled fibers.
Both kinds of papers have been selected out of our concern for the health of people and the planet, in line with Women’s Division and United Methodist Church policies which advocate for the elimination of dioxin, a highly toxic by-product of the chlorine-bleaching process.