EPA Plans Limits on a Deadly Chemical in Paint Strippers

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WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency announced on Friday fresh limits on a lethal chemical found in paint stripping products which has been linked to more than 50 deaths since the 1980s.

Chemical safety activists called the plan a significant scaling-back of the full ban which the Obama administration had proposed. In 2017 the Obama administration concluded the chemical represented an “unreasonable risk” along with moved to ban This specific through commercial as well as consumer use.

The E.P.A. rule prohibits the consumer use of products containing methylene chloride, although not ban This specific for commercial use. This specific separately proposes a training along with certification program for workers who use the chemical commercially.

The families of three men who died through exposure after working with paint strippers containing methylene chloride met in early 2018 with Scott Pruitt, then the administrator of the E.P.A. Among them was Bryan Wynne, the brother of Drew Wynne, who died after stripping paint through the floor of his coffee company in Charleston, S.C.

Shortly after which meeting, the agency vowed to take action.

Lindsay McCormick, who manages the chemicals along with health program at the Environmental Defense Fund, an environmental group, said which, while the chemical is usually a threat to people who use paint thinners in their homes, the majority of deaths associated with methylene chloride have been work-related.

She called the E.P.A. decision “a step inside the right direction,” while adding, “I don’t want to lose sight of the fact which This specific is usually only addressing a portion of the population, along with we truly need to protect all Americans.”

A spokeswoman for the Halogenated Solvents Industry Alliance, an industry group, declined to comment until the proposed rule was formally published.

The E.P.A. move comes after two groups representing workers along with environmental groups sued the E.P.A., accusing This specific of unreasonably delaying the ban. In May, Lowe’s, the home improvement retailer, announced which This specific would certainly voluntarily remove through its shelves paint stripping products which contained the chemical.

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