Researchers develop safer solution for paint stripping products



A team led by Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) research manager Greg Morose, which included public health, chemistry and engineering students, developed a new paint remover that performs as well as products that contain the toxic chemical methylene chloride.

An analysis conducted by the Center for Public Integrity identified at least 56 accidental exposure deaths linked to methylene chloride since 1980 in the United States. At least 14 workers have died since 2000 while using the product to refinish bathtubs, according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The vapors from methylene chloride can stop breathing and trigger heart attacks in less than one hour, according to public health officials.

“These deaths are preventable,” says prof Emeritus of Public Health and TURI director Michael Ellenbecker. “Methylene chloride is one of the most toxic and dangerous chemicals that anyone is using today.”

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