EPA Bans Consumer Sales of Paint Strippers With Methylene Chloride

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule banning methylene chloride used in paint removers for consumer use. The prohibition begins in August 2019. Methylene chloride is also called dichloromethane or DCM and is used for paint and coating removal, metal cleaning and degreasing, plastic processing and adhesive manufacturing. Consumers exposed to the chemical may risk dizziness or potentially fatal nervous system disorders. 

There are a variety of other alternative chemicals available to take the place of methylene chloride. While the chemical has not been banned for commercial uses, the EPA has requested feedback on limiting use to workers who are trained and certified. The EPA did not take any action against n-methylpyrrolidone (NMP), another chemical sometimes found in paint strippers that the agency had previously considered banning. 

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