EPA proposes ban on most uses of toxic chemical methylene chloride, but exceptions raise concerns
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a rule to address the toxic chemical methylene chloride, commonly used in paint and coating removers and everyday products like automotive cleaners, adhesives, and degreasers. The proposal would ban all consumer uses of methylene chloride and most commercial uses under TSCA's jurisdiction, including commercial methylene chloride paint strippers – a use that has caused dozens of worker deaths. The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has applauded the proposed ban, but raised concerns about exceptions to the bans that will allow continued use of methylene chloride, albeit with restrictions. In particular, the exemptions for federal uses of paint and coating removers, such as those for NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Department of Defense, could continue to put frontline communities at risk. The EDF has promised to take a closer look at the proposed rule and offer suggestions to strengthen the final version to better protect public health, including for workers and frontline communities.
Link to EDF Press Release