EPA Moves To Ban Toxic Paint-Stripper For Some — But Not All — Uses

"Big-box retailers such as Lowe’s and Home Depot have already dropped it amid a public outcry over fatalities"

"In the past year, major retailers such as Lowe’s and Home Depot have pulled a toxic chemical used in paint strippers, methylene chloride, from their shelves. The families of those who have died after exposure to the substance have begged leaders of the Environmental Protection Agency to finalize a ban that the agency proposed on Jan. 19, 2017 — a day before President Barack Obama left office. And in May, then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt pledged to do just that.

But late last month, the EPA sent proposals to the Office of Management and Budget that would allow commercial operators to continue using the product as long as they underwent training, while banning its use by consumers. The two draft final rules, which are not yet public but are mentioned in the database of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, have sparked an outcry from congressional Democrats and public health advocates who had sought an outright ban on the chemical.

“Despite explicit assurances provided to my office that EPA would finalize a ban that protected both consumer and commercial users from this dangerous chemical, the Trump EPA appears to have failed to live up to those assurances,” said Sen. Thomas R. Carper (Del.), the top Democrat on the Senate Environment Committee. “I will do everything in my power to ensure that the final rule takes all needed steps to ban a chemical so dangerous that it has killed dozens of Americans, including trained professionals who were taking precautions on the job.”"

Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis report for the Washington Post January 8, 2019.

Source: Washington Post, 01/10/2019