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Report shows BPA found in Trussville grocery store’s receipts

By Gary Lloyd

TRUSSVILLE — Bisphenol A chemicals have been found in cash register receipts in the Birmingham area, including a grocery store in Trussville, according to a report.

A report by Houston, Texas-based Ensource Corporation, an independent environmental consulting and services firm, shows the Winn-Dixie in Trussville is one of five Birmingham-area Winn-Dixie stores to have Bisphenol A show up in cash register receipts. Bisphenol A, or BPA, is a chemical used to make polycarbonate, a clear, rigid, shatter-resistant plastic; and Epoxy resins, an industrial adhesive and high-performance coating. 

According to the report, BPA is used in thermal paper to make the type or graphic appear on the receipt paper. Those with high contact with the receipt, such as cashiers, are at a higher risk for potential health issues based on current studies of the use of BPA in thermal paper.

BPA was also found in the receipts at Winn-Dixie stores in Bessemer, Birmingham, Hueytown and Vestavia Hills.

According to Environmental Working Group, which is not affiliated with the Ensource Corporation study, retail workers carry an average of 30 percent more BPA in their bodies than other adults.

Some research has shown that BPA can seep into food or beverages from containers that are made with BPA, such as water bottles.

“Exposure to BPA is a concern because of possible health effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children,” according to a May 21, 2013 post on the Mayo Clinic’s website.

The Mayo Clinic post does state, however, that the Food and Drug Administration has said that BPA is safe at the very low levels that occur in some foods. This assessment is based on review of hundreds of studies, the post states.

The report discussed the results of analysis of 94 samples of cash register receipts collected from 12 grocery store chains and analyzed for Bisphenol A. The samples were collected by two environmental consulting firms and were analyzed by one of two analytical laboratories. Samples were collected from 82 stores located in 66 cities and 17 states. Of the 94 samples that were analyzed, BPA was found to be present above the sample reporting limits in 27 of the samples.

Contact Gary Lloyd at and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.

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