Paint strippers containing the dangerous chemicals methylene chloride and NMP have made a lot of headlines lately – most of them negative. However, thanks in part to the Mind the Store Campaign, there is positive news to report. Effective January 1, 2019, a host of national retailers have agreed to pull products containing these harmful chemicals from their shelves.
Both methylene chloride, also known as dichloromethane or DCM and N-Methylpyrrolidone, also known as NMP or 1-methyl-2-pyrrolidone, are solvents. They are generally found in paint strippers, even though safer alternatives exist. Methylene chloride has been linked to cancer, cognitive impairment, asphyxiation, and death. NMP has been closely linked to developmental impacts including miscarriages. In 2017, the EPA proposed banning both chemicals for use in paint stripping, but then backed off when the industry balked.
Call to Action: Help eliminate the use of these harmful chemicals in your area! After January 1, 2019, begin visiting your local Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Sherwin-Williams, AutoZone, Walmart, True Value, PPG Paints and Kelly-Moore Paints locations to ensure that they have followed through with their commitment to stop selling products containing methylene chloride and NMP. Our Canadian readers can also check out Canadian Tire and Home Hardware.
Be a nontoxic detective - go to the store and peruse the aisle that contains paint stripping products. Review the labels and identify which products do and don't contain methylene chloride and NMP.
It's that easy! The Mind the Store Campaign offers a guide for how to visit a store (or stores) near you to make sure that there are no longer dangerous paint strippers on their shelves. Sign up here and an information packet will be e-mailed to help you get started.
The efforts of many, including volunteers for the Mind the Store Campaign, have done much of the ground work to encourage these companies to make less harmful choices. Now it is our turn to help by ensuring that our local communities reap the benefits of these commitments.
Did you learn a bit here? Can you imagine what it would be like exploring these topics with a group of likeminded friends?