U.S. bans most uses of paint-stripping solvent after dozens of deaths

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EPA bans user usage of methylene chloride

Family of antheral who died aft methylene chloride vulnerability telephone EPA determination "step successful the close direction" 01:41

The Environmental Protection Agency is banning astir uses of a toxic chemic often utilized to refinish furnishings and bathtubs that has been linked to dozens of deaths since 1980.

The agency announced a regularisation Tuesday that volition bounds each user uses of methylene chloride, arsenic good arsenic astir concern and commercialized uses. Exempted uses see those "highly industrialized and important to nationalist information and the economy," specified arsenic climate-friendly coolants and parts for electrical vehicles, according to the EPA.

The EPA is restricting usage of methylene chloride astir six years aft a CBS News investigation prompted 3 large retailers — Home Depot, Lowe's and Sherwin-Williams — to hold to pull products with the chemic disconnected their shelves by the extremity of 2018. 

Methylene chloride is known to origin a scope of cancers, arsenic good arsenic neurotoxicity and liver damage, portion nonstop vulnerability tin pb to death, according to the EPA. At slightest 88 radical person died from acute vulnerability to methylene chloride since 1980, astir of them who were refinishing bathtubs oregon stripping paint, the bureau said. The fatalities included trained workers who were equipped with idiosyncratic extortion equipment.

"Exposure to methylene chloride has devastated families crossed this state for excessively long, including immoderate who saw loved ones spell to enactment and ne'er travel home," EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan said successful a statement. "EPA's last enactment brings an extremity to unsafe methylene chloride practices and implements the strongest idiosyncratic protections imaginable for the fewer remaining concern uses, ensuring nary 1 successful this state is enactment successful harm's mode by this unsafe chemical."

The sweeping restrictions travel a twelvemonth aft the EPA projected the ban, citing the known and perchance deadly wellness risks of methylene chloride, which is besides utilized to marque pharmaceuticals and refrigerants. It besides follows the EPA's determination earlier this period to bounds alleged "forever chemicals" successful pat water

Kate Gibson

Kate Gibson is simply a newsman for CBS MoneyWatch successful New York.

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