Monday, September 8, 2014

EPA Identifies Paint Stripping Chemical as Health Risk

© ODonnell
In a recent release of final risk assessments for specific uses of three chemicals commonly found in household products, EPA labeled dichloromethane (DCM) as potentially dangerous. The other two chemicals did not raise any concerns.

DCM is found in some paint thinner products, and EPA estimates that more than 230,000 workers nationally could be at risk.

“While EPA continues to support much needed reform of this country’s chemicals management legislation, we are also using our current authorities as effectively as we can, which includes conducting risk assessments on chemicals to determine if they are safe for the public,” says Jim Jones, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “Our review indicates that the use of DCM in paint strippers pose risks to human health, so EPA is beginning an effort to determine options for addressing the concern.” 

Per EPA’s announcement, the agency is considering an array of potential actions to mitigate the potential impact of DCM. The agency anticipates conducting a workshop this fall. For now, recommended actions include increased scrutiny of paint thinner labels and using products containing DCM while wearing PPE and in well-ventilated conditions or outside if alternative products are not an option.

Find additional information on EPA’s website.