Good Wood guide: Tissue production in Europe
What is the problem with chemicals used in the tissue production process?
Exposure to dioxins, a toxic substance, has been shown to cause cancer. Biologists believe organochlorines may be responsible for mutations, sterility, immune system failures and local extinctions in many wildlife populations.
There are environmentally friendly choices for companies bleaching without chlorine:
TCF (Total Chlorine Free) - only a few companies in the tissue sector are using this method to bleach virgin products. This procedure uses oxygen compounds instead of toxics such as chlorine, chlorine containing compounds, or its agents for bleaching, and hence does not have the negative side-effects.
The equivalent method for recycled content is called PCF (Processed Chlorine Free).
Beware: Many tissue manufacturers claim to use only pulp that is ECF (Elemental Chlorine Free). While less harmful than bleaching with elemental chlorine, ECF papers are bleached with chlorine dioxide, a technology that does not completely eliminate organochlorines. Also, bleaching pulp with chlorine dioxide uses 2 times more water than chlorine-free processes.