Environmental Protection Agency Tightens Restrictions on Common Paint Thinning Chemical

Mar 22, 2019

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that it is implementing new limits on methylene chloride, a product most commonly found in paint stripping products. In 2017, the Obama administration deemed the chemical an “unreasonable risk” and submitted a proposed ban in which it sought to remove it from all products for both commercial and consumer use.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler recently announced that the chemical will be banned for commercial use, and the agency is opening up a 60 day public comment period exploring the idea of a training certification and a limited access program for commercial use of the substance.

“After analyzing the health impacts and listening to affected families, EPA is taking action to stop the use of this chemical in paint removers intended for consumers,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler noted in a recent press release. “Today’s decision reflects EPA’s commitment to ensure that chemicals in the retail marketplace are safe for the American public.”

Since the Trump administration assumed office, officials have met with advocates and families affected by the use of the chemical. Several manufacturers and retailers including Walmart and Home Depot have already removed the chemical from the products on their shelves. Once the EPA releases the new commercial ban in the Federal Register, any retailers still carrying the chemical in their products will have 180 days to remove it. Failure to do so could result in civil or criminal action.

To view the pre-publication version of the Federal Register notice, click here: https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/prepublication-versions-federal-register-notices-banning