April 05, 2019

EPA Bans Consumer Sales of Methylene Chloride Paint Removers, Seeks Comment on Program for Commercial Uses

Lynn L. Bergeson

On March 27, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register a final rule prohibiting the manufacture (including import), processing, and distribution of methylene chloride for consumer paint and coating removal (84 Fed. Reg. 11,420). EPA determined that the use of methylene chloride in consumer paint and coating removal presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health due to acute human lethality. Paint removal products containing methylene chloride will not be able to be sold at any retail or distribution establishments that have consumer sales, including e-commerce sales. The final rule also requires manufacturers, processors, and distributors to notify retailers and others in their supply chains of the prohibitions and to keep records. Prohibitions will begin 180 days after the effective date of the final rule, providing time for establishments selling this chemical to consumers to come into compliance with the ban. The final rule is effective May 28, 2019.  Additionally, EPA is soliciting public input for a future rulemaking that could establish a training, certification, and limited access program as an option for risk management for all the commercial uses of methylene chloride in paint and coating removal (84 Fed. Reg. 11,466). Comments on the advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) are due on or before May 28, 2019.

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