Under the newly reformed Toxics Substance Control Act (TSCA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed limits on the use of two common chemicals in paint strippers—methylene chloride (DCM) and N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP). Your voice can help make sure the final regulations are strong—take action now to get these dangerous chemicals off store shelves and out of the workplace.
If you’ve ever used a can of paint stripper, you know it smells toxic. But did you know that even short-term exposure could be deadly?
Paint strippers containing DCM have been linked to more than 50 deaths nationwide since the 1980’s—many from projects like refinishing bathtubs in confined spaces. Long-term exposure has been linked to liver toxicity, liver cancer and lung cancer.
NMP exposure puts women of childbearing age and pregnant women—whether exposed at home or on the job—at risk of harm to their fetuses. And workers chronically exposed to NMP are at risk of liver damage and cancer. There’s even evidence that solvent exposure in men can result in damaged sperm causing birth defects and low birth weight.
The good news is that safer alternatives are readily available—but we need EPA to ban both of these chemicals from the products available on store shelves and in the workplace.
EPA has recently begun to take comments on a proposal to ban NMP and DCM for commercial and consumer uses. While they have proposed a clear ban on DCM for commercial and consumer use, EPA proposed a choice between banning NMP or requiring less protective measures to partially control use for paint stripping. Labeling and control measures like gloves and masks on the job aren’t enough. To keep the public safe, Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families and partners strongly support a total ban on NMP for paint stripping.
There is no excuse for EPA to continue to allow exposures to DCM and NMP in either in the workplace or in a home improvement project. Your voice can help show EPA that the public is watching and wants the most protection possible—sign the petition now.